By LCDR Des Paroz (author), POIS Helen Frank (photographer), LSIS Shane Cameron (photographer), of Navy Daily.
Evacuation of residents and visitors of Mallacoota, Victoria, has begun with more than over 1000 civilians embarking in HMAS Choules and MV Sycamore on 3 January.
Since arriving offshore of Mallacoota on 2 January, ships’ companies of both vessels have been preparing to receive the people who chose to accept the opportunity to evacuate the area that has been devastated by the recent bushfires.
By Marianne Hanson*
Hugh White’s How to Defend Australia made a big media splash, largely because it contains some controversial suggestions. Perhaps the most notable of these is that Australians should consider the option of developing our own nuclear weapons arsenal in preparation for what the author sees as a Chinese military threat to Australia.
Both China and the United States emphasised the strategic importance of the South China Sea (SCS) in their recent official documents. China’s 2019 Defense White Paper stresses:
The South China Sea islands and Diaoyu Islands (pictured) are inalienable parts of the Chinese territory. China is committed to resolving related disputes through negotiations with those states directly involved on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law. China continues to work with regional countries to jointly maintain peace and stability. It firmly upholds freedom of navigation and overflight by all countries in accordance with international law and safeguards the security of sea lines of communication (SLOCs).
By David B Larter, Defense News
The U.S. military in September ordered the largest stress test of its wartime sealift fleet in the command’s history, with 33 out of 61 government-owned ships being activated simultaneously. The results were bad, according to a new report.
In an unclassified U.S. Transportation Command report posted to its website, the so-called turbo activation revealed that less than half of the sealift fleet would be fully prepared to get underway for a major sealift operation in a crisis.
By David Brewster*
Among the many questions raised by the massive modernisation and expansion of China’s Navy in the last few years is its future role in the Indian Ocean. Will the Indian Ocean become a Chinese lake?
China has gone from essentially zero presence in the Indian Ocean around a decade ago to a fairly sizeable fleet averaging perhaps four to five surface vessels (plus submarine deployments), although this number fluctuates during crossovers between transiting vessels. China now operates a naval base in Djibouti and no doubt has plans for additional bases in the region.
The Andaman Sea is fast becoming the latest target of Chinese expansionism. India says it has seen a surge of Chinese submarine activity in the strategically critical waterway, the Courier-Mail reports
The commissioning of the Shandong has placed China in a small club of nations with multiple aircraft carriers, UK Defence Journal reports. The nation is also building a third.