UPDATE: Some other games are also being played in the South China Sea.
US, British and Asia-Pacific naval forces on Wednesday staged a joint exercise in the South China Sea to demonstrate a mock interception of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) aboard a merchant ship...The exercise is also one of the biggest since the PSI was launched in May 2003. It involves 2,000 personnel, 10 ships and six maritime patrol aircraft from 13 countries, including the United States, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Britain.Russia seems to be playing several games.
Other nations taking part are Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Russia along with Singapore.
(Photo is of Singapore divers fast roping on the the MV Avatar from here)
UPDATE2: Navy Times reports:
The new commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet said Wednesday the Navy is “very interested” in the first-ever joint military exercises China and Russia are due to hold over the next eight days.Interesting.
In an interview with The Associated Press about one month after assuming his post, Adm. Gary Roughead said he’ll be watching to see what kind of equipment the two countries will use and how they’ll work together.
“We’re very interested in the exercise, we’re interested in the types of things that they’ll do,” Roughead said. “We’re interested in the complexity and the types of systems that they bring to bear.”
UPDATE3: More from here:
Not only is the military keen to edge closer to potential hot spots in the Taiwan Straits or North Korea, it is also eager to ensure that piracy and terrorism do not close down vital sea lanes used by some of the world's biggest trading nations.Are they that "inscrutable?"
"There's a growing sense in our country and military that our future is going to be very heavily tied to Asia," Roughead said. "The imperative of PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii The new commander of the Pacific Fleet says the U.S. Navy is "very interested" in the first-ever joint military exercises China and Russia are holding over the next eight days on China's northeastern coast.
In an interview about a month after assuming his post, the commander, Admiral Gary Roughead, said he would be watching to see what kind of equipment the two countries use and how they work together.
"We're very interested in the exercise, we're interested in the types of things that they'll do," Roughead said Wednesday. "We're interested in the complexity and the types of systems that they bring to bear."
The exercises, Peace Mission 2005, started Thursday with strategic consultations between commanders and will reach a peak next week with an amphibious and paratrooper landing on Shandong Peninsula in the Yellow Sea. About 10,000 troops are involved, mostly Chinese and about 1,800 Russians.
Roughead declined to say whether the United States would dispatch ships of its own to monitor the exercises, saying only that "I don't talk about the specifics of our operations."
The admiral said he was curious how the two navies would operate and how they would command and control their forces. He added he would also be looking at how they would "integrate in a combined way."
Analysts say the joint exercises are primarily an opportunity for Moscow to showcase its weaponry to Beijing, an active consumer of Russian military hardware. The two nations are also expected to use the opportunity to display their military power.
Roughead, 54, takes command of the Pacific Fleet as the Pentagon mulls over moving an aircraft carrier to either Guam or Hawaii from the U.S. mainland and perhaps shifting more submarines to the region.
Not only is the military keen to edge closer to potential hot spots in the Taiwan Straits or North Korea, it is also eager to ensure that piracy and terrorism do not close down vital sea lanes used by some of the world's biggest trading nations.
"There's a growing sense in our country and military that our future is going to be very heavily tied to Asia," Roughead said. "The imperative of maintaining stability and the prosperity in the region will be the key to our security and prosperity in the future."
Roughead, who has spent five of the past 12 years in Pacific posts, said he had been watching as China has upgraded its military, taking note as its submarine patrols and surface ships have pushed beyond earlier areas of operation closer to its eastern coast. He said he was most curious about China's motives.
"Clearly they are modernizing very quickly," Roughead said. "They're acquiring and producing some very capable systems. So it's easy to see the capability that they're building. The great interest I have is to what purpose do they want to use the military. How do they seek to employ it in the future and what does it mean for the region?"