24 March 2020 Military News
- Navy Reserve Arrives to Support USNS Mercy NNS 24 Mar 2020 -- Nearly 60 Navy Reserve medical professionals reported to the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) March 22, to support Mercy's upcoming medical relief mission.
Defense Policy / Programs
- A statement from Dr. Roper on COVID-19 US Air Force 24 Mar 2020 -- Like everyone, the entire acquisition workforce is dealing with unanticipated challenges of COVID-19.
- FAQ: COVID-19 Impacts to BMT and Technical Training US Air Force 24 Mar 2020 -- The COVID-19 pandemic is a dynamic and rapidly evolving situation.
- COVID-19 to have serious impact on US military's global influence: Chinese experts Global Times 24 Mar 2020 -- As the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) ravages the globe and US Defense Secretary Mark Esper admitted on Monday that the US military's combat readiness could be affected, Chinese military experts said on Tuesday that the US military could be dealt a huge blow and lose its influence over its allies.
- Iwo Jima Continues Marine Warfare Certification NNS 24 Mar 2020 -- The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) continued its Amphibious Marine Warfare (AMW) Certification by conducting Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) operations with 2nd Amphibian Assault Battalion Company A, 2nd Platoon and Headquarters Platoon, March 18.
- US Marines to 'Start Fresh', Shed Land Combat Units for Naval Warfare Sputnik 24 Mar 2020 -- For decades, the US Marine Corps has served more as a counterpart to the Army than the Navy, but all that's about to change. By 2030, the service wants to shed vast parts of its land combat forces in favor of new naval units in preparation for conflict in the South China Sea.
- US, Israel Holding Joint Military Exercises Observing Coronavirus Rules of Social Distancing Sputnik 24 Mar 2020 -- With Israel already afflicted by 1,650 cases of COVID-19 and two deaths, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that the country may suffer as many as 10,000 fatalities, with up to a million people expected to be infected within a month's time.
- Pair of Russian Tu-95 Bombers Escorted by Japanese Fighters During Routine Flight - Defence Ministry Sputnik 24 Mar 2020 -- According to the Defence Ministry, the interception took place during the bombers' flight over the Sea of Japan and the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean.
- Aircraft carrier Liaoning hosts fighter jet drills amid epidemic Global Times 24 Mar 2020 -- The Liaoning, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's first aircraft carrier, recently set out for a voyage and hosted fighter jets carrying out takeoff and landing exercises, in an attempt to minimize the impact of the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) outbreak on the training of more carrier-based fighter pilots, while experts said on Tuesday the carrier enjoyed success in epidemic control efforts.
- Chinese peacekeeping force completes armed escort mission in South Sudan PLA Daily 24 Mar 2020 -- The 6th Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan (Juba) has successfully completed the armed escort mission for UN convoy from Juba to Ganji on March 21, local time. The mission covered a total of 260 kilometers. The infantry battalion dispatched nearly 40 troops and more than 10 vehicles of various types.
- India's Limited War Capability Hit Hard as Procurement Worth Billions Halted due to COVID-19 Sputnik 24 Mar 2020 -- On Monday, India issued instructions to restrict movement at all military establishments, cantonments, and formations. While numbers of coronavirus cases across the country are on rise, there is a lone case reported in the armed forces.
- Indian Navy Tracks Fast Chinese Warship Near Andaman Islands Sputnik 24 Mar 2020 -- The Indian Navy has enhanced its surveillance procedures after Forbes reported that the Chinese Navy had deployed at least 12 underwater drones in the Indian Ocean. In December 2019, navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh warned that any vessels entering India's Exclusive Economic Zone would be forced to withdraw.
- Iran used home-made Fat'h 14 radar system to intercept intruding F-18, media speculate Press TV 24 Mar 2020 -- Footage has been released of how the Iranian Army's air defenses locked in on an intruding F-18 fighter jet approaching the country's southern waters and decisively warned it off, prompting military experts and media to speculate about which Iranian radar system was used to intercept the warplane.
- IRGC gearing up for biodefense maneuvers, disinfection operations across Iran Press TV 24 Mar 2020 -- Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) is gearing up for fresh biological defense drills as well as countrywide disinfection operations amid warnings that the new coronavirus pandemic may be the outcome of a biological attack targeting certain nations.
- Taiwan holds joint air drill featuring simulated air scramble CNA 24 Mar 2020 -- Taiwan's Armed Forces held large-scale military exercises throughout the country on Tuesday, with eight F-16 fighter jets from Hualien Air Base conducting simulated long-range intercept missions above Taiwan.
- Joint patrol starts on Mekong River PLA Daily 24 Mar 2020 -- The 91st Mekong River joint patrol led by China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand began Tuesday, as three Chinese vessels left the Guanlei Port in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
- US, UAE stage joint war games amid coronavirus pandemic Press TV 24 Mar 2020 -- Defying a deadly coronavirus pandemic, thousands of American and Emirati forces have taken part in joint drills simulating the capture of a "model city" in a sprawling Abu Dhabi military base.
- 24 March 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 24 Mar 2020
- Chinese Maritime Militia on the Move in Disputed Spratly Islands Radio Free Asia 24 Mar 2020 -- Even as the coronavirus crisis sweeps through Asia, China continues to assert its presence in the South China Sea by deploying maritime militia around disputed islands and reefs in the Spratly island chain, according to vessel tracking data and satellite imagery reviewed by Radio Free Asia.
- Yemen's Ansarullah welcomes UN call for global ceasefire to tackle coronavirus pandemic Press TV 24 Mar 2020 -- Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement has welcomed a call by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a ceasefire in all conflicts worldwide amid a global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
- Syrian army, residents block US military convoy in Hasakah, force it to move back Press TV 24 Mar 2020 -- A US military convoy has been forced to retreat from an area in Syria's northeastern province of Hasakah after government forces blocked its way and groups of angry local residents, upset with its presence in the region, threw stones at the US convoy.
- Syrian air defense intercepts drone near Hmeimim airbase Press TV 24 Mar 2020 -- Syria says its air defense units have intercepted a drone approaching Russia's airbase in Hmeimim, Latakia.
- Turkish Military Vows to Ensure Expansion of M4 Highway Patrols in Syria With Russia Sputnik 24 Mar 2020 -- A senior Turkish officer has assured the Russian military that the area of Syria's M4 highway covered by their joint patrol will expand gradually.
- Fighting Rages as Myanmar's Rakhine Braces For Fallout From Terrorist Designation Radio Free Asia 24 Mar 2020 -- Fierce fighting between Myanmar forces and the rebel Arakan Army killed a child and wounded 15 villagers in Rakhine state, hours after the government formally branded the AA a terrorist group, a move a local lawmaker said could lead to "endless fighting in the future."
- Myanmar's Kachin Take Higher Education Into Their Own Hands Amid Conflict Radio Free Asia 23 Mar 2020 -- High school graduates in northern Myanmar's Kachin state saw their prospects for higher education and good jobs disappear when armed conflict between government forces and a rebel ethnic army resumed about nine years ago.
- Coronavirus Further Complicates Life At Line Of Contact In Eastern Ukraine RFE/RL 24 Mar 2020 -- The global crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has been acutely felt in eastern Ukraine, where the line of contact between government-controlled territory and regions held by Russia-backed separatist formations has become even more complicated than usual.
- Accused Of Downplaying COVID-19 Figures, Kremlin Clamps Down On 'Fake News' RFE/RL 24 Mar 2020 -- On March 16, the day Russia recorded a spike in coronavirus cases and officials began urging the population not to panic, political analyst and Kremlin critic Valery Solovei made a guest appearance on the radio station Ekho Moskvy.
- Lawyers for WikiLeaks Founder to Ask for Bail VOA 24 Mar 2020 -- Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange say they will file papers Wednesday to have him released on bail because he is at risk of contracting coronavirus.
- Trial Begins for Former US Marine Accused of Espionage in Russia VOA 24 Mar 2020 -- The long-awaited trial of a former U.S. Marine facing charges of espionage got under way in Moscow on Monday – with U.S. officials accusing Russia of providing no evidence in a spy case that has proved an added irritant to already troubled relations between the two countries.
- 'Zero growth' not 'risk-free' Global Times 24 Mar 2020 -- It would be medically normal to see setbacks and report new cases of infection in Wuhan and Hubei Province, which have recorded zero new infections for five consecutive days, experts said, and encouraged the public to tolerate such case instead of blindly pursuing a quick elimination of new cases which may put too much pressure on local officials.
- China urges U.S. to stop politicizing COVID-19 People's Daily 24 Mar 2020 -- China urged the United States to stop politicizing COVID-19 and stigmatizing China, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said Monday.
- North Korea Ramps up Ideology Lessons Amid COVID-19 School Closures Radio Free Asia 24 Mar 2020 -- North Korea has postponed the opening of middle and high schools until April 20 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but authorities have not eased up on the ideological indoctrination that education system's chief aim, sources in the country told RFA.
- Experts: Trump's Letter to Kim Shows N Korea Dialogue Still Matters VOA 24 Mar 2020 -- President Donald Trump's attempt to reengage North Korea through "anti-epidemic" help offered through a letter sent to the country's leader Kim Jong Un is an effort to show the U.S. remains open to dialogue even amid the coronavirus pandemic, experts said.
- Calls Grow For U.S. To Lift Iran Sanctions Due To Coronavirus Crisis RFE/RL 24 Mar 2020 -- There are increased calls for the United States to suspend economic sanctions against Iran, which some believe hamper Tehran's ability to contain the deadly outbreak of coronavirus that has officially killed nearly 2,000 people.
- Sanctions on Iran, others facing coronavirus must be urgently re-evaluated: UN Press TV 24 Mar 2020 -- The United Nations rights chief says any sanctions imposed on Iran, among other countries grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, should be "urgently re-evaluated" to support lives of millions of people worldwide.
- Pakistan Cuts Interest Rates, Sets $6 Billion To Offset Economic Impact Of Virus RFE/RL 24 Mar 2020 -- Pakistan has announced a financial-relief package of some $6 billion and cut its benchmark interest rate for the second time in a week in an effort to counter the divesting effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.
- After Years Of Delay, North Macedonia, Albania Get OK To Begin EU Accession Talks RFE/RL 24 Mar 2020 -- European Union ministers say they have approved beginning membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania, with a top German official calling it "good news in these gloomy times."
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