HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Monday, August 07, 2006

UPI Intelligence Watch

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- The United States has paid closer attention to East Africa since its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by al-Qaida in 1998. Since then Washington has consistently striven to deepen its military ties with East African nations.

East Africa Community nations next month will hold a joint military exercise in Uganda with U.S. forces.

Defense forces from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will hold the "Operation Natural Fire" joint disaster management exercise in Jinja, Uganda. The ten-day exercise begins on September 20.

Each EAC nation will contribute a battalion for the operation.

Operation Natural Fire is intended to develop better disaster preparedness and management measures among the armed forces as well as develop joint operations and search-and-rescue capabilities in the event of natural disasters and other emergencies.

Operation Natural Fire is the second joint military exercise between EAC members and the United States since 2000.

Kenyan Army Brigadier Gen. Leonard Ngondi will command the exercise. The United States contingent will come from its combined joint task force - Horn of Africa.

A total of 1,000 military personnel will participate in the field training exercise.

According to a press release from the U.S. Embassy in Dar es-Salaam, "This year's exercise will focus on crisis response, military-to-military training and humanitarian events that include medical, veterinary and engineering civic assistance projects."

The press statement quoted U.S. Rear Adm. Richard Hunt as saying that Operation Natural Fire exemplifies the commitment between the EAC nations and the United States and contributes to long-term regional stability.


In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. Navy continues to expand its contacts with foreign navies.

The Navy NewsStand reported Aug. 2 that the Malaysian phase of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training operation has ended.

Both Malaysian and U.S. Navy officials praised the week-long training exercise.

Malaysian Navy's Naval Area 1 commander First Adm. Jamil bin Hj Osman said during a closing ceremony for the deployment, "The Malaysian armed forces have learned much by experiencing joint operations. This exercise enhances our ability to work as a team and further complement our ability to work together. With your presence and contribution, we hope to enhance peace, security and stability in the region."

Destroyer Squadron 1 commander and CARAT task group leader Capt. Al Collins said,"Through CARAT, we continue to strengthen our interoperability and improve our skills in areas that thwart our enemies and provide protection of the seas. We live in a world where multinational responses to conflicts and humanitarian crises are now routine."

During the five-day CARAT exercise, 160 Royal Malay Regiment soldiers trained with American Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division.

The joint exercise included an amphibious landing exercise from a U.S. Navy air cushion landing craft from the Assault Craft Unit 5 Detachment Western Pacific Alfa.

Joint CARAT exercises included artillery practice, maritime surveillance and diving operations.

CARAT included joint discussions on maritime interdiction issues, force protection and logistics. The exercise was intended to introduce the Malaysian armed forces to U.S. military operations.

CARAT also included collaboration between the U.S. Coast Guard and the newly-formed Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. The two forces rehearsed visit, board, search and seizure tactics and onshore and maritime techniques.

CARAT involved nearly 3,000 U.S. and Malaysian military personnel. CARAT Malaysia was the fourth exercise in the six-part Southeast Asia exercise series.

The American five-ship CARAT task force contained the dock landing ship USS Tortuga, guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper, the frigate USS Crommelin, the diving and salvage ship USS Salvor and USCGC cutter Sherman. Other American forces included P-3C Orion and SH-60 Seahawk aircraft from Patrol Squadron 46 and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 37, Mobile Security Squadron 7 and personnel from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Participants from the Malaysian Navy armed forces included KD Jebat, KD Laksamana Tun Abdul Jamil, MV Setia Cekal, MV Mahsuri PZ MMEA and PC MMEA.


The F-22 Raptor, America's most advanced fighter, is being deployed to the northern Pacific where Chinese and North Korean military capabilities are of growing concern.

The F-22 Raptor stealth fighter is a joint development project by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. The Raptor formally entered U.S. Air Force service last December as the F-22A.

The F-22 Raptor is the most expensive American fighter aircraft ever built. In April the Government Accountability Office estimated the cost at $361 million per aircraft.

Air Force Link reported Aug. 3 that Pacific Air Forces' officials attended a F-22 Raptor tail flash unveiling ceremony at the Lockheed Martin plant in Marietta, Ga.

Lockheed Martin employs some 8,000 people at the Marietta plant. About half of them work on the F-22 Raptor and the C130J Hercules transport.

PACAF's first F-22 Raptor is still under construction, and will be the first of 36 F-22s assigned to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, beginning in 2007. Elmendorf will eventually house two active-duty F-22 squadrons and a reserve associate squadron.

During the ceremony, PACAF commander Gen. Paul V. Hester said, "I'm excited about getting this incredible new air dominance capability into the Pacific.

"F-22s based in Alaska in the near-term and Hawaii in the mid-term demonstrate the tremendous American commitment to the region by assuring security and stability for our nation, as well as for our friends and allies.

"In the future, the aircraft also will be assigned to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. The 199th Fighter Squadron of the Hawaii Air National Guard will fly the F-22 and the 531st Fighter Squadron will be an Active associate squadron to them.

"I'm looking forward to leveraging all three components of our Total Force: Active Duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve to squeeze every ounce of capability out of these great fighters. Our Total Force is critical in today's challenging environments ... and I couldn't be more pleased that all three elements are going to be fully engaged in the Raptor business," he said.


Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org