• VBIED attack kills nine civilians in Syria's Aleppo

    NINE civilians were killed and six others were wounded when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED), detonated by unidentified militants at a Turkish-backed police force checkpoint at the entrance of Jarablus town in Syria's Aleppo governorate on 7 March, Enab Baladi reported. Reports

  • NATO aims to create new Atlantic Command, new European logistics command

    NATO ministers are considering adding two new entities to improve logistics and support capabilities, in addition to a new cyber-operations centre, as part of a wider reform of NATO’s command structure, according to Czech General Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee. Alliance

  • New USCG commandant nominated

    US President Donald Trump nominated US Coast Guard Vice Admiral Karl Schultz on 8 March to be the next commandant of the service, taking over from Admiral Paul Zukunft, who has had the position for four years and is slated to retire after the change of command scheduled for 1 June, Kirstjen Nielsen,

  • USN, USMC gear up for confrontations with Russia, China

    Russian forces and Chinese intentions underscore the Pentagon shift back to those peer competitors and budget boosts for a bigger US naval force, US Navy (USN) and US Marine Corps (USMC) officials told members of Congress. “A major component of resurgent Russian has been in the

  • UK submarine arrives in the Arctic for joint exercise with USN

    A UK Royal Navy (RN) nuclear-powered attack submarine is heading under the Arctic ice pack for the first time in more than a decade as part of a joint exercise with two US Navy (USN) submarines. ‘Ice Exercise 2018’ ('ICEX'), which started on 7 March, aims to test operational readiness

  • Apparent increase in Iranian material support for Bahraini militants likely intended as deterrence against Saudi escalation

    Key Points IHS Markit cannot independently verify Bahraini claims, nor the scale and nature of Iranian support for Bahraini militants. However, the suspected militants’ possession of such an arsenal, if confirmed, would indicate an improvement in capability to inflict greater casualties and

  • PAF launches new JF-17 squadron

    The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has inaugurated a new squadron equipped with the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) JF-17 Thunder multirole combat aircraft, according to a 28 February report by the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP). Named No 28 Multirole Squadron and stationed at PAF Base Samungli

  • IED attack kills at least two FSA militants in Syria's Quneitra

    MEDIA reports on 4 March stated that two Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants had been killed and another had been wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED), emplaced on a motorcycle by unidentified militants, detonated in Hiran area in Syria's Quneitra governorate on an earlier unspecified

  • Indonesia inaugurates explosives plant

    State-owned Indonesian company PT Dahana – a specialist in military explosives – inaugurated a new production facility in Subang, West Java, on 7 March. In a statement, the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the new plant would help reduce the Indonesian Armed Forces’

  • USN to conduct new force structure assessment

    With a bigger fleet, an updated long-term shipbuilding plan, and revamped US and defence security plans under its keel, the US Navy (USN) is looking to carry out a new force structure assessment (FSA) that will more specifically spell out the types and numbers needed to fulfil the fleet’s

  • USS Essex leads ready group through first SWATT exercise

    The USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) departed Naval Base San Diego on March 4 to participate in the first ARG Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise. The drill is focused on advanced tactical training at sea to improve warfighting proficiency, lethality, and ship

  • AFRICOM commander concerned by Chinese influence in Djibouti

    The US military’s operations in Africa could be seriously impacted if China gained control over Djibouti’s port, General Thomas Waldhauser, the head of Africa Command (AFRICOM), told the House Armed Services Committee on 6 March. Djibouti’s government announced in February that it

  • British Army to deploy Lynx Wildcat helicopters to Estonia

    Key Points Four British Army Lynx Wildcat are deploying to Estonia next month as part of the NATO eFP mission It is the type’s first operational deployment Four UK Army Air Corps (AAC) Lynx Wildcat AH1 battlefield reconnaissance helicopters are to deploy to Estonia next month on the

  • National defence ministries mull creation of new military-assistance fund for Europe

    National defence ministries across the European Union are considering the idea of creating a joint fund to support military training, defence reform, and even equipment transfers in favour of the European Union’s partner countries. Dubbed the European Peace Facility (EPF), its financing would

  • DIA chief concerned about Chinese military’s growing capabilities

    US Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Robert Ashley has expressed concern over the Chinese military’s growing capabilities, especially those extending further into the Pacific Ocean. “Chinese military forces continue to develop capabilities to dissuade, deter, or

  • North Korea open to denuclearisation if military threat is removed, says South

    North Korea’s leadership has agreed to hold its first summit with leaders from the South since 2007 and is open to discuss the issue of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, the government in Seoul announced on 6 March. “The South and the North have agreed to hold a third

  • New National Defence Strategy prompts US amphibious operations review

    The new US National Defence Strategy has prompted US Navy (USN) and Marine Corps (USMC) officials to review, rethink, and revamp the way they perform amphibious operations. The strategy’s shift away from anti-terrorist operations towards missions geared to combat China, Russia, and other peer

  • Taliban likely to intensify efforts to seize southern provincial capital despite fresh Afghan government proposal for negotiations

    Event On 28 February, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered unconditional peace talks to the Taliban during a speech at the second Kabul Process conference. The president proposed a relocation of the Taliban’s political office to Kabul from Qatar, issuing Afghan passports to Taliban

  • EU defence ministers formally approve PESCO capability projects

    Key Points EU defence ministers have approved a list of 17 defence capability projects to develop under the PESCO framework However, moving beyond purely nationally oriented interests is still a big ask Gathering in Brussels for their first permanent structured co-operation (PESCO) formation on 6

  • Saudi court adviser indicates continuation of Qatari boycott, but low risk of escalation and damage to Qatari economy

    Event On 6 March, Saud Al Qahtani, the Saudi royal court adviser, used his Twitter account to downplay the prospect of any reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Qatar and the end of a boycott that has been in place since June 2017. Qahtani has taken a prominent social media role in criticising

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