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Found 23 results

  1. WASHINGTON: The US Navy hospital ship Comfort is due to leave its home port in Norfolk, Virginia, on Friday for deployment to the hurricane-battered island of Puerto Rico, its first civilian disaster mission in seven years, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. The USNS Comfort, equipped to carry as many as 1,000 hospital beds, 12 operating rooms and one of the largest trauma units in the United States, is expected to arrive in Puerto Rico by the middle of next week, according to Defense Department officials. It takes up to four days to load and prepare the vessel. The vessel?s departure date was set a week after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico and three days after former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton urged Republican US President Donald Trump in a Twitter message to deploy the ship. Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis ?should send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now. These are American citizens,? Clinton, who served as secretary of state under Trump?s predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama, tweeted on Sunday. Critics of Trump?s disaster response in Puerto Rico seized on the Clinton tweet, launching a petition on the website Change.org that drew some 260,000 supporters for the idea and igniting a #SendtheComfort social media campaign. The Pentagon did not explain why the vessel was not dispatched sooner or say whether Clinton?s admonition was a factor. But a Defense Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said earlier this week that the Comfort was not deployed before then because the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), which is overseeing disaster relief on the island, had not requested it. Asked why the Comfort had not been prepositioned in case of a deployment request, the official said weather conditions in the Caribbean and the incoming hurricane would have made it difficult. Maria, the most powerful hurricane to strike Puerto Rico in nearly a century, cut a swath of destruction across the island last Wednesday with roof-ripping winds, torrential rains and pounding surf. The storm claimed at least 16 lives on the island, knocked out the territory?s entire power grid, unleashed severe flooding and caused widespread heavy damage to homes and infrastructure. Governor Ricardo Rossello called it an unprecedented disaster for the island. Medical facilities were especially hard hit, many of them left wind-damaged, flooded and short-staffed. A majority of the island?s 69 hospitals were without electricity or fuel needed to run backup generators, according to a Defense Department assessment. The 890-foot (270-meter) Comfort, originally designed to treat US troops wounded in combat, has taken on a secondary mission during the past decade as a major asset for the Navy to deploy in response to natural disasters. Its last civilian relief assignment was in Haiti following a devastating earthquake there in January 2010. The Comfort also was dispatched to the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and was sent on months-long goodwill humanitarian missions through Latin America and the Caribbean in 2007 and 2011. The ship, equipped with a large helipad, typically anchors offshore and takes aboard patients ferried to the vessel from land by helicopter or small boats. The Comfort will not be the only Navy ship sent to Puerto Rico. Two amphibious ships were previously deployed there - the USS Kearsarge and the USS Oak Hill.
  2. KARACHI: In a striking display of fire power, Pakistan Navy undertook live weapon firing in the Arabian Sea on Saturday, according to a statement by a Navy spokesperson. Pakistan Navy Helicopter Sea King launched air-to-surface anti-ship missile, which successfully hit the intended target with pinpoint accuracy, reaffirming the weapon?s lethality and offensive punch of the Pakistan Navy fleet, the statement said. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah witnessed the event and praised the combat readiness of the fleet. ?The successful firing by [Pakistan Navy] Helicopter Sea King is reflective of high state of readiness and professionalism of Pakistan Navy fleet,? he said, as he visited various fleet units at sea and witnessed ongoing exercises. Admiral Zakaullah also expressed his complete satisfaction at the combat readiness of Pakistan Navy fleet and commended the efforts put in by all involved. The Naval Chief further appreciated professionalism and high morale of the personnel, and reaffirmed the resolve of Pakistan Navy to ensure the country?s seaward defence and safeguard maritime interests at all costs.
  3. South Korea's navy held major live-fire drills Tuesday to warn the North against any provocations at sea, it said, two days after Pyongyang's biggest nuclear test to date. The drills, conducted in the East Sea (Sea of Japan), involved the 2,500-tonne frigate Gangwon, a 1,000-tonne patrol ship and 400-tonne guided-missile vessels, among others, the Navy said in a statement. "If the enemy launches a provocation above water or under water, we will immediately hit back to bury them at sea," Captain Choi Young-chan, commander of the 13th Maritime Battle Group, said in a statement. North Korea on Sunday triggered global alarm with by far its most powerful atomic test to date, claiming it was a hydrogen bomb that could be mounted onto a long-range missile.global alarm with by far its most powerful atomic test to date, claiming it was a hydrogen bomb that could be mounted onto a long-range missile.onto a long-range missile. On Monday the South's military launched a volley of ballistic missiles simulating an attack on the North's nuclear test site. US President Donald Trump and South Korea's leader Moon Jae-In agreed during a phone call late Monday to remove limits on the payload of the South's missiles, fixed at 500 kilograms according to a 2001 bilateral agreement. Trump also said he was willing to approve the sale of "many billions of dollars' worth of military weapons and equipment from the United States by South Korea", according to a statement released by the White House. Tensions have mounted on the Korean peninsula following a series of missile launches by the North, including two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that apparently brought much of the US mainland into range.
  4. US President Donald Trump announced Friday he plans to appoint James Bridenstine, a former navy pilot and Republican congressman, to head the US space agency NASA. Bridenstine, 42, who backed Trump during the US presidential campaign, had long been considered the favorite for the job of NASA administrator. But the nomination drew fire from two US senators from Florida who questioned the Oklahoma representative's qualifications to lead such a complex and highly technical agency. Senator Bill Nelson, the ranking Democrat on the committee that oversees NASA, told the news site Politico the agency's new leader should be "a space professional, not a politician." Marco Rubio, the state's other senator and a Republican, said the choice of Bridenstine "could be devastating for the space program." "I would hate to see an administrator held up -- on [grounds of] partisanship, political arguments, past votes, or statements made in the past -- because the agency can't afford it and it can't afford the controversy," he told Politico. Bridenstine, who was elected to Congress from Oklahoma in 2012, is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. According to the trade publication SpaceNews, Bridenstine has been a big proponent of giving the private sector a larger role in space. The space agency is involved in all aspects of space exploration, as well as in Earth observation missions from space and in the development of new aerospace concepts. Since the end of NASA's space shuttle program in 2011, the United States has had to rely on Russia to ferry their astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA is currently developing a heavy launcher and capsule capable of taking astronauts to Mars in 2030 and beyond. But it faces competition from billionaires like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, who runs SpaceX and Tesla. NASA's proposed 2018 budget comes to a little more than $19 billion. Bridenstine's experience is mainly in the military, as a pilot who flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as a member of the naval reserves has flown counter-drug missions in Central and South America. He served as executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium. He is also a member of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. He has degrees from Rice University and Cornell.
  5. Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin WASHINGTON: The commander of the US Navy´s Seventh Fleet will be relieved of his duty following a deadly collision between a destroyer and a merchant vessel, the latest in a spate of similar accidents, a defense official said Tuesday. The decision to remove Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin from the post in Japan comes as the Navy is undertaking a fleet-wide global investigation in the wake of the incident Monday involving the USS John S. McCain which left 10 sailors missing and five injured. It was the second fatal collision in two months -- coming after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged cargo ship off Japan in June, leaving seven sailors dead -- and the fourth accident in the Pacific this year involving an American warship. The incidents have sparked concern that the US Navy could be overstretched in East Asia -- both ships belonged to the Seventh Fleet -- as it tackles China´s rising assertiveness and North Korea´s nuclear ambitions. The latest accident happened before dawn in busy shipping lanes around the Strait of Singapore, and sent water flooding into the vessel. A massive search involving planes and aircraft was launched and US Navy divers joined the hunt Tuesday, scouring the ship´s flooded compartments. Ten sailors missing after US destroyer collision off Singapore Rescue operation is under way for 10 sailors missing after a US destroyer collided with a tanker east of Singapore Divers have found remains of some of the sailors, Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, said Tuesday. The McCain had been heading for a routine stop in Singapore after carrying out a "freedom of navigation operation" in the disputed South China Sea earlier in August, sparking a furious response from Beijing. On Monday the Chief of US Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson ordered commanders within a week to set aside time, perhaps "one or two days," for crews to sit down together for discussions. A "comprehensive review" of practices would also begin. The admiral did not rule out some kind of outside interference or a cyber-attack being behind the latest collision, but said he did not want to prejudge the inquiry. His broader remarks suggested a focus on "how we do business on the bridge."
  6. SINGAPORE: A US warship damaged after colliding with a merchant vessel east of Singapore on Monday is sailing under its own power and heading to port, the US Navy said. "Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities," the Navy said in a statement posted on the website of the Commander of the US Pacific Fleet. "In addition to tug boats out of Singapore, the Republic of Singapore Navy ship RSS Gallant, RSN helicopters, and Police Coast Guard vessel Basking Shark are currently in the area to render assistance," it said. The statement said MV-22 Ospreys and SH-60S Sea Hawks from USS America were also responding. COVER IMAGE: The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain approaches the aircraft carrier USS George Washington for a fueling at sea in this handout photo from December 5, 2010. US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Cheng S. Yang/Handout via REUTERS/Files
  7. We want to better our lives every day; we want to conquer our fears and channelise our strengths and achieve the impossible. But it rarely happens the way we fancy it would. Far from it. What goes wrong? Sometimes we lack the motivation, sometimes the skill, sometimes the plan. So many tips, so many formulas of success out there, so many success stories - it's too much to take in, too much to follow. Former US navy admiral William H. McRaven delivers a powerful speech about changing the world and we promise it's one of the most inspirational things you've ever heard in life. He starts with a simple tip about making your bed in the morning as your first little accomplishment of the day. © Youtube/Texas Exes Life in the navy is tough, but it prepares you for the most important lesson in life – to have the heart to never give up. At the end of the day, it's your will to survive and succeed that will take you through life. © Wikimedia Commons Watch the goosebump-inducing speech here and you'll never need another dose of inspiration again: Citing the example of the toughest routine in the Navy SEAL training, McRaven talks about the ‘mud day' during Hell Week, where cadets survive the freezing cold for 15 long hours. When half of them are about to give up, one person starts singing – an out-of-tune song but enough to boost the team's morale to stay for the remaining 8 hours till dawn. © Wikimedia Commons “So if you want to change the world, start each day with a task completed.” Watch the complete speech here: Work hard, be happy, meditate, play a sport, read, travel, get up early in the morning, eat healthy, exercise - be a superhuman, there's no end to what you can do. But life is not perfect, neither are we. You know what; you don't have to be perfect. All you need is the will to succeed and the heart to survive. Everything else will fall in place.
  8. Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah meeting German Navy authorities - (Picture Courtesy: Pak Navy) Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah during his visit to Germany visited Naval academy and Naval submarine base, informed a statement issued by Pakistan Navy. The naval chief also had a meeting with Commandant German Naval Academy in which matters of mutual interests were discussed. Admiral Zakaullah also visited submarine training centre at Keroman Submarine Base. The statement added that the visit would further strengthen and expand defence cooperation between the two countries.
  9. Sailors man the rails as the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz with Carrier Strike Group 11, and some 7,500 sailors and airmen, depart for a 6-month deployment in the Western Pacific from San Diego, California, US, June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/Files BEIRUT: The Iranian Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday that the US Navy ships came close to their vessels in the Gulf and shot flares. The USS Nimitz and an accompanying warship drew close to a rocket-bearing Iranian vessel on Friday and sent out a helicopter near a number of Guards vessels close to the Resalat oil and gas platform, the Guards said in a statement published by their official news site Sepah News. "The Americans made a provocative and unprofessional move by issuing a warning and shooting flares at vessels?,? the statement said. ?[The] warriors, without paying attention to this unconventional and unusual behaviour from the American vessels, continued their mission in the area and the aircraft carrier and accompanying battleship left the area." A US military statement said a US Navy helicopter saw several IRGC vessels approaching US forces at a high rate of speed and deployed flares after it could not establish communications with the boats. The statement said the interaction was "safe and professional". Last Tuesday, a US Navy ship fired warning shots when an Iranian vessel in the Gulf came within 150 yards (137 metres) in the first such incident since President Donald Trump took office in January, US officials said. In a statement, US Naval Forces Central Command said the patrol craft, named Thunderbolt, fired the warning shots in front of the Iranian vessel after it ignored radio calls, flares and the ship's whistle. The vessel belonged to the Revolutionary Guards, the statement said, adding that it stopped its unsafe approach after the warning shots were fired. A US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Iranian boat was armed but that the weapons were unmanned. The Thunderbolt was accompanied by a number of other vessels, including those from the US Coast Guard. Years of mutual animosity had eased when Washington lifted sanctions on Tehran last year as part of a deal to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions. But serious differences remain over Iran's ballistic missile programme and conflicts in Syria and Iraq. The Trump administration, which has taken a hard line on Iran, recently declared that Iran was complying with its nuclear agreement with world powers, but warned that Tehran was not following the spirit of the accord and that Washington would look for ways to strengthen it. During the presidential campaign last September, Trump vowed that any Iranian vessels that harass the US Navy in the Gulf would be "shot out of the water".
  10. ISLAMABAD: Three commodores of Pakistan Navy, namely Imran Ahmad, Muhammad Shuaib and Zaka Ur Rehman have been promoted to the rank of rear admiral with immediate effect, according to a press release issued Thursday. Rear Admiral Imran Ahmad Rear Admiral Imran Ahmad was commissioned in Marines Engineering branch of Pakistan Navy in 1985. He is a graduate of National Defence University, Islamabad. His distinguished appointments include Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Maintenance) Naval Headquarters and Managing Director Pakistan Navy Dockyard. Presently, he is serving as Commandant Pakistan Navy Engineering College, PNS JAUHAR, Karachi. The officer has also led Acquisition Mission of Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP) class ship in USA. In recognition of his meritorious services, he was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Military). Rear Admiral Muhammad Shuaib Rear Admiral Muhammad Shuaib was commissioned in the Operations branch of Pakistan Navy in 1988. He is a graduate of National Defence University, Islamabad and Naval War College USA. He has commanded Combined Task Force 151, 9th Auxiliary & Mine Warfare Squadron, 10th Patrol Craft Squadron and Pakistan Navy Ship NASR. His other distinguished appointments include Directing Staff Armed Forces War College, National Defence University, Islamabad, Director Naval Training at NHQ and Commanding Officer PNS AKRAM. He is presently performing the duties of Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Special Operations Forces & Marines) at NHQ. In recognition of his meritorious services, he was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Military). Rear Admiral Zaka Ur Rehman Rear Admiral Zaka Ur Rehman was commissioned in the Operations branch of Pakistan Navy in 1988. He is a graduate of National Defence University, Islamabad and has done Arms of Submarine Course (ASM) from France. He has commanded 25th Destroyer Squadron, Pakistan Navy Ship BADR and Pakistan Navy Ship QUWWAT, a missile boat. His other distinguished appointments include Director Naval Intelligence (Ops), Director Electronic Warfare and Assistant Naval Secretary (Ops) at Naval Headquarters. The officer has also served as Naval Attache of Pakistan to Ankara, Turkey. In recognition of his meritorious services, he was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Military). This article was originally published in The News.
  11. This video grab image ? obtained July 25, 2017, courtesy of the US Navy ? shows an IRGCN boat heading towards the USS Thunderbolt in the Gulf. AFP/US Navy/Handout WASHINGTON: A US Navy patrol ship fired warning shots Tuesday at an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps boat in the Persian Gulf as it closed in on the American vessel, officials said. The shots were fired after the Iranian vessel came to within 150 yards of the USS Thunderbolt and failed to respond to repeated attempts to reach it via radio, then ignored warning flares and a series of blasts on the US ship's whistle, the Navy said in a statement. "The Iranian vessel's actions were not in accordance with the internationally recognised? 'rules of the road' nor internationally recognised maritime customs, creating a risk for collision," the statement read, noting that the Iranians had conducted an "unsafe and unprofessional" interaction. The incident occurred at about 3:00 AM local time (0500 PST) in the northern Persian Gulf. After the US ship fired the warning shots, the Iranian vessel stopped, officials said, at which point the Thunderbolt continued on her way. The episode marks the latest in a series of close encounters between US ships and Iranian naval vessels. In January, the USS Mahan destroyer fired warning shots at four Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels that approached at high speed in the Strait of Hormuz. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps is a paramilitary force that answers directly to the Islamic republic's supreme leader. The force's boats periodically approach US warships in international waters and the Strait of Hormuz, ignoring US radio messages and giving little indication of their intentions. In January 2016, the Iranians briefly captured the crew of two small US patrol boats that strayed into Iranian waters. The 10 US sailors were released 24 hours later. Tuesday's incident comes as the US Congress votes on a new sanctions bill against Russia. The measure also includes sanctions against Iran and the IRGC navy ? which stands accused of supporting terrorism ? and North Korea, for its missile tests.
  12. A US Navy ship fired warning shots when an Iranian vessel in the Gulf came within 150 yards (137 meters) on Tuesday in the first such incident since President Donald Trump took office in January, a US official told Reuters. The last major incident was earlier in January, though there have been other instances when a US vessel fired a flare and another event in March when a US Navy ship was forced to change course after multiple fast-attack vessels from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard came too close. The US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Thunderbolt fired the warning shots after the Iranian vessel approached at a high rate of speed and ignored radio calls, flares and the ship´s whistle. The Thunderbolt was accompanied by several US Coast Guard vessels. The Iranian vessel appeared to be from Iran´s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the official said, adding that it was armed but that the weapons were unmanned. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iranian Foreign Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment. Years of mutual animosity had eased when Washington lifted sanctions on Tehran last year as part of a deal to curb Iran´s nuclear ambitions. But serious differences remain over Iran´s ballistic missile program and conflicts in Syria and Iraq. The Trump administration, which has struck a hard line on Iran, recently declared that Iran was complying with its nuclear agreement with world powers, but warned that Tehran was not following the spirit of the accord and that Washington would look for ways to strengthen it. During the presidential campaign last September, Trump vowed that any Iranian vessels that harass the US Navy in the Gulf would be "shot out of the water." Such incidents occur occasionally. In January, a US Navy destroyer fired three warning shots at four Iranian fast-attack vessels near the Strait of Hormuz after they closed in at high speed and disregarded repeated requests to slow down.
  13. Two young elephants washed out to sea were saved from drowning Sunday by the Sri Lankan navy in the second such incident off the island in as many weeks. The navy said the pair of wild elephants were brought ashore after a "mammoth effort" involving navy divers, ropes and a flotilla of boats to tow them back to shallow waters. Photos showed the elephants in distress, barely keeping their trunks above water in the deep seas about one kilometre off the coast of Sri Lanka. "Having safely guided the two elephants to the shore, they were subsequently released to the Foul Point jungle (in Trincomalee district)," the navy said in a statement. "They were extremely lucky to have been spotted by a patrol craft which called in several other boats to help with the rescue." Two weeks ago, the navy mounted a similar operation in the same region to save a lone elephant washed eight kilometres (five miles) off the Sri Lankan coast into the deep waters of the Indian Ocean. Navy officials say the animals were likely swept out while crossing shallow lagoons in the region. They are not the only wildlife to encounter trouble in the biodiverse island. In May, the navy and local residents saved a pod of 20 pilot whales that became stranded in Trincomalee, a natural harbour that is popular for whale watching. The waters around Trincomalee, which were used by Allied forces as a staging post during World War II, have a high concentration of blue and sperm whales, while the surrounding jungles have herds of wild elephants.
  14. Funeral prayers being offered for the martyred Pakistan Navy personnel. KARACHI: The funeral prayers of two Pakistan Navy personnel, Syed Hassan Raza (medical technician) and Khalil Murad (leading fireman) ? who were martyred on Monday ? were held on Tuesday. According to a press release, the personnel were martyred during a terrorist attack on a Pakistan Navy vehicle in Jiwani, Gwadar on Monday. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, who was present at the funeral in Karachi, condemned the gory attack on the Pakistan Navy personnel and consoled the bereaved families. The naval chief expressed his deep grief and sorrow over the incident, saying that such heinous and cowardly acts cannot deter the national resolve of Pakistan Navy to stand against terrorism. The admiral added that the sacrifices of the martyred people for national defence and to root out terrorism from the country are highly praiseworthy. He maintained that handful of terrorists cannot succeed in their nefarious design of destabilising the country. The naval chief reiterated that Pakistan Navy, in collaboration with other law-enforcement agencies, is committed to eradicate the menace of terrorism in the country. The admiral prayed for eternal peace of the martyred souls and grant of courage to the bereaved families to bear the loss and prayed for the swift recovery of those injured. Two Pakistan Navy personnel martyred in Jiwani gun attack Three other personnel were injured in the attack. The naval chief also visited the injured personnel at PNS Shifa hospital in Karachi and also met families of the deceased and injured. Besides Pakistan Navy senior officials, personnel of sister services, relatives, friends and a large number of people also attended the funeral.
  15. Two Pakistan Navy personnel were martyred and three injured when militants fired on a Navy vehicle in Jiwani city on Monday evening.
  16. A number of missing American sailors have been found dead in flooded areas of a destroyer that collided with a container ship off Japan's coast, the US Navy said Sunday. The sailors were missing for more than 24 hours after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a much larger container ship before dawn on Saturday, causing heavy damage and flooding areas of the destroyer. "A number of sailors' bodies that were missing from the collision between USS Fitzgerald...and a merchant ship have been found," the US 7th Fleet said in a statement. "As search and rescue crews gained access to the spaces that were damaged during the collision...the missing sailors were located in the flooded berthing compartments. "They are currently being transferred to Naval Hospital Yokosuka where they will be identified," it added. Japan's public broadcaster NHK updated an earlier report that claimed all seven missing sailors were found dead inside the ship, saying instead that "several" had been found. The accident sparked a major US-Japanese search and rescue operation. The 154-metre (500-foot) Fitzgerald was pulled by a tugboat back to its base in Yokosuka, south-west of Tokyo, on Saturday, where divers searched damaged areas of the guided missile destroyer. The 222-metre Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal had large scrapes on its bow, but none of its 20 crew were injured, Japan's coastguard said. The accident happened 56 nautical miles (104 kilometres) south-west of Yokosuka, in a busy shipping channel that is a gateway to major container ports in Tokyo and nearby Yokohama. The missing sailors have not been identified. "The families are being notified and being provided the support they need during this difficult time," the Navy said. "The names of the Sailors will be released after all notifications are made." The cause of the accident is under investigation.
  17. WASHINGTON: A United States Navy destroyer ? USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) ? collided with a merchant ship, 56 nautical miles south-west of Japan's Yokosuka, late Friday night, the American naval warfare services said. The US Navy in its statement mentioned it has consequently requested assistance from the Japanese coast guard, while the extent of US personnel injuries is currently "being determined". "The extent of damage is being determined. [?] The incident will be investigated," the US Navy stated. ?This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is made available
  18. Two US Navy vessels have arrived in Doha to take part in a joint military exercise with the Qatari Emiri Navy, reported Qatar News Agency (QNA) QNA. But it was unclear if the arrival of the two warships was planned before the Gulf rift or was a sign of support from the Pentagon. Qatar, a major ally of the US and other Western countries, has been in the spotlight since four major Arab powers, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, severed their ties with the country and accused it of supporting terrorism and working secretly with Iran, the arch-foe of the Saudis. Qatar hosts the biggest US military base in the Middle East with 11,000 troops deployed to or assigned to Al Udeid Air Base. More than 100 aircraft operate from there. The Pentagon last week renewed praise of Qatar for hosting a vital US airbase and for its "enduring commitment to regional security," after four Arab countries cut ties with the Gulf ally. The Pentagon reassurance differed from the US President Donald Trump comments that applauded the decision, via Twitter. The crews of the two vessels were received by Qatari navy officers, QNA said, citing a statement from the country's defence ministry. Turkey sent its foreign minister to Qatar as part of a drive to resolve the crisis. Kuwait, a neighbour and a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council also has been mediating.
  19. A visiting ship of PLAN docked at Karachi harbour. -Pakistan Navy KARACHI: Three warships of the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) arrived in Karachi port on Saturday for a goodwill and training visit, said a statement released by the Pakistan Navy. The PLAN ships, Chang Chun, Jing Zhou and Chao Hu are part of a task group commanded by Deputy Commander East Sea Fleet Rear Admiral Shen Hao. The statement added the visiting task group will also hold a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Pakistan Navy ships to enhance interoperability between the two navies. The men and officers of the visiting ships are also expected to hold professional discussions and interactions with their compatriots from the PN on subjects of mutual interest, added the statement released. Chinese officials welcoming the PLAN ships. -Pakistan Navy The visiting crews will take part in operational training activities, joint interactive sessions and table top discussions on professional topics. Official calls on senior PN officers and civilian dignitaries along with social events are also planned as part of the visit. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah also visited the ships of the Chinese flotilla and was presented an honour guard by a contingent of PLAN sailors. ?Pak-China friendship is highly valued and the continued cooperation between them has proven to be a source of strength for both the countries,? said the naval chief. He added that the visit is ?expected to enhance interoperability and maritime collaboration between the two navies?.
  20. Richard Spencer, a leader and spokesperson for the so-called ?alt-right? movement, speaks to the media at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, US. February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts President Donald Trump plans to nominate Richard Spencer, who has worked as a financial industry executive, to be Secretary of the Navy, the White House said on Friday. Spencer also served as a captain in the US Marine Corps and spent five years on the Defense Business Board, most recently as Vice Chairman, the White House said in a statement.
  21. About 266kg heroin, 455kg cannabis were seized from a dhow in Indian Ocean on Thursday morning. Photo: UK's Ministry of Defence Royal Navy frigate HMS Monmouth, known as the ?Black Duke?, seized 266 kilogrammes heroin and 455kg cannabis resin, with a total street value in the UK of around £65m from a vessel in Indian Ocean. The contrabands, which were hidden in the freezer of a fishing ship, were later destroyed by the British soldiers. The suspicious dhow was intercepted by two teams of the British war ship in the Indian Ocean in an area not normally known for fishing. The teams, comprising Royal Marines from 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group and the other of Royal Navy search specialists , spent 60 hours painstakingly scouring the vessel for narcotics, before eventually finding them hidden in a freezer beneath three tonnes of ice. "Such a substantial seizure of drugs will deal a significant blow to the international narcotics trade which is known to provide funding for terrorist organisations,? said HMS Monmouth's Commanding Officer Ian Feasey. Lieutenant Alison Ross, one of HMS Monmouth's boarding officers, said: "After such a long search I had doubts we would find anything, but the reactions of the crew to our activity in certain areas was enough to convince us that there was illegal cargo. HMS Monmouth will now continue her patrols of the Indian Ocean as part of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF150), a coalition of warships with a mission to promote maritime security in order to counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities, which terrorists use to fund or conceal their movements.
  22. ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah met with Commandant Marine Corps, Maj Gen Bambang Suwantono, and Commandant Western Fleet Command, Rear Admiral Aan Kumia of Indonesia while on an official visit to Indonesia, a press release by the Navy’s media wing said. Upon his arrival at Marines Base and Western Fleet Command Headquarters, Admiral Zakaullah was presented Guard of Honour. During the meeting with Maj Gen Bambang Suwantono, diverse matters of professional interest ranging from Maritime security and stability, Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP), counter-piracy operations, drug trafficking were discussed. Various avenues to enhance interoperability between Pakistan and Indonesian Navy were also dilated upon. Admiral Zakaullah also highlighted Pakistan’s commitment and performance in fight against terrorism in general and Pakistan Navy’s efforts for maintaining regional peace and security in particular. Gen Suwantono acknowledged strong foundations and historical ties between Pakistan and Indonesia. He also lauded Pakistan Navy’s efforts and focused commitments in support of collaborative maritime security in the region and extending cooperation in diverse fields to Indonesian Navy. Admiral Zakaullah alos called on Commandant Fleet Command, Rear Admiral Aan Kumia. Upon his arrival at Western Fleet Command Headquarters at Jakarta, Indonesia, he was warmly welcomed by Rear Admiral Kumia and was also given detailed briefings regarding western Fleet Command of the Indonesian Navy. During the meeting, professional matters of mutual interest came under discussion. Admiral Zakaullah appreciated the professionalism and commitment of Indonesian Navy officers and men. The commandant Western Fleet Command lauded the role and contributions of Pakistan Navy in spearheading various initiatives for maintaining peace and stability in the region.
  23. Adding another feather to its cap, The Indian Navy has successfully test-fired a missile from the first ever made in India Scorpene submarine, called the Kalvari. The sub fired an Exocet SM 39 missile at a decommissioned tugboat. © BCCL The Kalvari can carry up to 18 torpedoes and travel 1,020 kms underwater. The Lkalvari is a part of Project 75, under which the Indian Navy was authorized to build six submarines in collaboration with French firm DCNS. The last submarine to be built in India was actually commissioned to the Navy and was called Shankul. The other 5 submarines will roll-out in the following nine months. More specifications of the Submarine are still to be revealed. © indianexpress