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Messages - adroth

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Feb 2, 2023
The Philippines has granted the U.S. more access to its military bases, their defense chiefs said, amid mounting concerns over China's increasing assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea and tension over self-ruled Taiwan

US secures deal on Philippines bases to complete arc around China
By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
BBC News, Manila
1 February 2023
Updated 2 February 2023

The US has secured access to four additional military bases in the Philippines - a key bit of real estate which would offer a front seat to monitor the Chinese in the South China Sea and around Taiwan.
With the deal, Washington has stitched the gap in the arc of US alliances stretching from South Korea and Japan in the north to Australia in the south.

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The US hasn't said where the new bases are but three of them could be on Luzon, an island on the northern edge of the Philippines, the only large piece of land close to Taiwan - if you don't count China.

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13 OCT 2020 | Courtesy Story 3rd Marine Division

OKINAWA, Japan -- U.S. Marines and Sailors with 3rd Marine Division and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing showcased expeditionary advanced basing capabilities, October 7 to 8, as part of Exercise Noble Fury 21, from Okinawa to Ie Shima and across surrounding waters.

Demonstrating the ability to dominate a near-peer adversary in a distributed environment, the Marine Air-Ground Task Force integrated with naval and joint forces to seize, defend, and conduct follow-on operations from key maritime terrain in support of sea control and sea denial efforts.

More than 100 Marines with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment flowed into “battle” on MV-22 Ospreys from 1st MAW and rapidly inserted into Ie Shima to defeat adversary forces, secure the airfield, and establish defensive positions around the island. With support from multiple AH-1Z attack helicopters, the infantry Marines successfully defeated an enemy counter-attack attempt and maintained security for further missions from the expeditionary advanced base.

“As a force that is highly trained, disciplined and lethal, we are out here exercising our part in distributed operations,” said Lt. Col. Gabriel Diana, the commanding officer of 1st Bn., 2nd Marines and a leader with combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Today, our mission is to conduct an air assault to secure an airfield on a nearby island to facilitate follow-on operations including a HIMARS rapid infiltration. Our ability to rapidly seize and operate from critical maritime terrain will support naval operations to ensure we are ready to fulfill our treaty obligations to Japan and maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

In the cover of darkness, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launcher with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment flew into the recently secured airfield on an Air Force MC-130J that night. Upon landing, Marines swiftly positioned the HIMARS launcher to simulate a long-range, precision firing mission with targeting information received and coordinated while aboard the aircraft in flight. Minutes later, the HIMARS was back aboard the aircraft to exfiltrate and move to its next firing point at a different location.

“HIMARS provides a highly mobile and accurate ground-based fires capability with significant range,” said Capt. Ralph Biddle, a battery commander with 3rd Bn., 12th Marines whose unit has mastered HIMARS Rapid Infiltration missions. “Executing HIRAINs enables us to extend the range of our rockets to support naval and joint operations across a distributed environment.”

Meanwhile, the infantry Marines continued to maintain security across the island to preserve the EAB for supporting fleet operations at sea.

“My Marines have prepared for these types of missions through a significant amount of training before coming out to Japan on the Unit Deployment Program,” said Sgt. Cal Cushinghurley, a squad leader with 1st Bn., 2nd Marines. “I knew they would perform well because their training has made them confident and ready for combat, and this mission is another good opportunity to prove themselves.”

Receiving an order to displace, CH-53E Super Stallions arrived and the Marines were on the move again to prepare for follow-on missions.

“This operation demonstrated how we can be both survivable and extremely lethal through distributed operations in the littorals,” said Col. Jason Perry, assistant division commander for 3rd Marine Division. “Leveraging our partnerships and interoperability with joint and allied forces, we can deter and defeat any adversary that threatens peace and security in the region.”

Noble Fury 21 is a joint exercise involving Marines and Sailors from III Marine Expeditionary Force and 7th Fleet and part of ongoing integrated training between the Navy and Marine Corps.

U.S. Marines Are Relearning Island Hopping—For a War with China?
April 8, 2021
by Caleb Larson

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As a part of Exercise Noble Fury, Sailors and Marines with the 3rd Marine Division practiced island assault techniques that could be used in a future fight in the Pacific. During the exercise, Marines flew on Marine V-22 Ospreys and onto Ie Shima, a small island just west of Okinawa.

With airborne help from AH-1Z attack helicopters, over one-hundred Marines simulated taking an enemy airfield and secured the island. After repelling a simulated enemy counterattack, the Marines conducted a rapid nighttime HIMARS infiltration.

“In the cover of darkness, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launcher with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment flew into the recently secured airfield on an Air Force MC-130J that night,” a Marine Corps courtesy story detailed.

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United States of America / Re: Bell V-280 tilt rotor
« on: February 04, 2023, 01:24:29 AM »

On Monday, the Army announced that Bell’s V-280 Valor has won the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition aimed at fielding a modern replacement for the legendary UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The contract award, potentially worth as much as $1.2 billion, will fund ongoing development of the platform heading toward a production contract worth tens of billions of dollars.

But many have voiced concerns about the Valor's ability to do the job... So we set out to find answers to your most pressing questions.

United States of America / Re: 11 Jan 2023 - U.S. NOTAM Outage
« on: February 03, 2023, 02:30:53 AM »
Interesting what can happen to critical infrastructure

General Discussion / US defense chief visits Philippines anew
« on: February 02, 2023, 06:13:15 AM »
US defense chief visits Philippines anew
February 01, 2023

UNITED States (US) Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is back in the Philippines after nearly a year and a half.

Austin arrived in the country on Tuesday evening, January 31, 2023. He was welcomed by US Ambassador to the Philippines Marykay Carlson.

In a Twitter post, Austin said he will meet with Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and other senior government officials “to build on our strong bilateral relationship, discuss a range of security initiatives, and advance our shared vision of a #freeandopenpacific.”

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Indonesia / Re: Jakarta - Bandung High Speed Railway
« on: February 01, 2023, 03:35:04 PM »

Southeast Asia’s first high-speed rail line is almost complete.
The network connects the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, with Bandung in West Java.
It is one of China’s most high-profile international infrastructure projects.
But there is a growing concern about costs.

Indonesia / Re: Jakarta - Bandung High Speed Railway
« on: February 01, 2023, 03:32:12 PM »

Indonesia's first high-speed railway has passed a decisive stage ahead of its commercial debut. The Chinese-made bullet train successfully completed its first trial run on November 16, 2022. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indonesian President Joko Widodo were on hand for the test of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, which is expected to start operations in June 2023. The project is a part of the Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing’s to link the world through infrastructure and trade.

China’s Population Shrinks for First Time Since 1960s in Seismic Shift
ByBloomberg News
January 16, 2023

Births decline despite efforts to encourage bigger families

Nation already facing increasingly serious demographic crisis

PRO-Davao SITG: Killing of businesswoman may have been a ‘crime of passion’
January 25, 2023

THE Police Regional Office-Davao’s (PRO-Davao) Special Investigation Task Group Plaza (SITG) bared that the murder of businesswoman Yvonne Chua Plaza may have been a crime of passion.

On January 25, 2025, the SITG said they have identified ten persons who are allegedly involved in the murder of Plaza. Of the 10, seven are personnel of the 1001st Brigade of the Philippine Army, one is a civilian, and two other "John Does," who have yet to be determined if they are civilians or part of the same brigade.

According to SITG, the main person allegedly behind the death of Plaza is BGen. Jesus Durante III, a Brigade Commander of 1001st Brigade under the 10th Infantry Division (10ID).

“Based on our witness, the victim already has sensitive information against General Durante and she uses it to blackmail him,” Regional Director of PRO Davao PBGen. Benjamin Silo Jr. said during the SITG Plaza press conference at the Bagani Hall of Police Regional Office Davao Region (PRO-Davao) on January 25, 2023.

On December 28, 2022, Plaza was killed outside her house by two gunmen.

Although Durante initially denied accusations that he allegedly killed the victim, whom he described as a “friend," the SITG claims that evidence could be pointing towards him.

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“The macbook recovered from the victim’s house contained contacts, intimate photos, and email messages directed to Gen. Durante,” SITG said.

According to SITG, Durante gave instructions to “liquidate the victim” to Deputy Brigade Commander Michael Licyayo and five other suspects under his command – SSg. Gilbert Plaza, who was identified as the team leader; CPL. Adrian Cachero, the motorcycle driver; SGT. Delfin Sialsa, the gunman; and CPL. Romar Longakit and CPL, Rolly Cabal, who were assigned to casing surveillance.

Another suspect named Noel Hapitan was identified as the "striker."

Silo said they suspect jealousy as one of the reasons why Plaza was killed, but they could not verify if she was pregnant as the autopsy of the body was not focused on identifying this.

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Infrastructure and Nautical Highways / Panay Railway Project
« on: January 28, 2023, 03:48:39 PM »


1. The Department of Transportation (DOTr), through the CY 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA) intends to apply the sum of Forty-Nine Million, Nine Hundred Ninety-Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred Ninety-Nine Pesos and Ninety-Nine Centavos (Php49,999,999.99) being the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) to payments under the contract. Bids received in excess of the ABC shall be automatically rejected at the opening of the financial proposals.

2. The Department of Transportation now calls for the submission of eligibility documents for the Consulting Services for the Conduct of the Feasibility Study for the Panay Railway Project. Eligibility documents of interested consultants must be duly received by the BAC Secretariat on or before at 10:00AM, 03 February 2023 at Unit 61 BAC Secretariat Division, The Columbia Towers, Ortigas Avenue, Brgy. Wack-wack, Mandaluyong City. Applications for eligibility will be evaluated based on a non-discretionary “pass/fail” criterion. Late submission of Eligibility Documents shall not be accepted.

3. Interested bidders may obtain further information from the BAC Secretariat and inspect the Bidding Documents at the address given below during Mondays to Fridays 7:00AM to 4:00PM. Bidders may also inspect the Bidding Documents uploaded in the websites of the DOTr at, and Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) at

4. A complete set of Eligibility Documents may be acquired by interested Bidders from 26 January 2023 until 10:00AM of 03 February 2023, from the address below provided that consultants shall pay a non-refundable fee for the Eligibility Documents in the amount of Five Thousand Pesos (Php5,000.00). Bidder’s authorized representative shall present a government-issued ID and shall submit a duly signed authorization letter with a copy of a government-issued ID of the one who issued the authorization.

It may also be downloaded free of charge from the website of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) and the website of the Procuring Entity, providedthat Bidders shall pay the applicable fee for the Bidding Documents not later than the submission of their bids.

5. The CBAC shall draw up the short list of consultants from those who have submitted Expression of Interest, including the eligibility documents, and have been determined as eligible in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 9184 (RA 9184), otherwise known as the “Government Procurement Reform Act”, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). Should only one (1) or less than the required number apply for the eligibility and shortlisting pass the eligibility check, and/or pass the minimum score required in the shortlisting, the BAC shall consider the same. The criteria and rating system for short listing:


Qualification of Key Personnel who may be
assigned to the Job vis-à-vis extent and 70
complexity of the undertaking

Applicable Experience of the Firm; and 15

Current Workload Relative to Capacity 15

TOTAL : 100

The applicants shall then be ranked according to their “Total Points” and the top three (3) shall be considered as the shortlist and qualify them to bid for the contemplated contract. Should less than the required number apply for eligibility and shortlisting, pass the eligibility check, and/or pass the minimum score required in the shortlisting, the BAC shall consider the same. Further, applicants must obtain a minimum score of 70 points to qualify for shortlisting.

6. Bidding will be conducted through open competitive bidding procedures using non-discretionary “pass/fail” criterion as specified in the IRR of RA 9184.

Bidding is restricted to Filipino citizens/sole proprietorships, cooperatives, and partnerships or organizations with at least sixty percent (60%) interest or outstanding capital stock belonging to citizens of the Philippines.

7. The Procuring Entity shall evaluate bids using the Quality-Cost Based Evaluation/Selection (QCBE/QCBS) procedure. The Technical and Financial Proposals shall be given weights of seventy percent (70%) and thirty percent (30%), respectively, for a total of one hundred percent (100%) with a minimum score of 70 points. The criteria and rating system for the evaluation of bids shall be provided in the Instructions to Bidders.

8. The contract shall be completed within Three Hundred Sixty-Five (365) calendar days or twelve (12) months from the Notice to Proceed.

9. The Department of Transportation reserves the right to reject any and all bids, declare a failure of bidding, or not award the contract at any time prior to contract award in accordance with Section 41ofRA9184 and its IRR, without there by incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders.

U.S. will send Abrams tanks to Ukraine ahead of expected Russian offensive
Amanda Macias


The Biden administration will send 31 M1A1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine as the country prepares for a fresh Russian offensive in the coming months.

The move is a reversal after the U.S. hesitated for weeks to arm Kyiv with tanks.

The development came as Germany also moved to send tanks to help Ukraine in its fight.

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The Pentagon has been tasked with providing the training, maintenance and logistics support for the M1A1 tanks, according to the official. Another U.S. official said that the training on how to use the tanks, which will take several months, will occur outside of Ukraine.

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