Navy rescue at Mallacoota

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.

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How dangerous is the South China Sea?

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).

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US naval sealift found wanting

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.

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Chinese Indian Ocean role limited

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.

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