Wednesday, March 16, 2022

There Will Be 'High Price to Pay'--NATO Chief Warns

16th March 2022 at 6:27 AM

Russia is lying again on Russian Use of Chemical Weapons


March 15, 2022 | By C. TODD LOPEZ  

"They are making absurd claims about biological labs and chemical weapons in Ukraine," said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who spoke today during a press conference in advance of tomorrow's meeting of NATO countries' defense ministers. "This is just another lie. And we are concerned that Moscow could stage a false flag operation, possibly including chemical weapons." 


Stoltenberg said Russia has already staged "false flag" operations within Ukraine to justify its actions there. A false flag operation is a hostile action made to appear as if it were perpetrated by another party, then used to justify other aggressive actions. 

"We have seen that they, throughout this crisis, have tried to create different kinds of false flag operations to try to provide excuses for use of force," Stoltenberg said. "We saw that in the lead-up to the intervention. And now we are seeing them accusing Ukraine and also NATO allies of producing and developing chemical weapons, and that's an absolute lie." 

The secretary general said Russia's false claims that Ukraine and NATO operate chemical and biological weapons labs raise the specter that Russia itself may be planning to use such weapons. 

"The president of the United States and other allies also made very clear that if they use chemical weapons, there will be a high price to pay," he said. 

Russia is one of the nations that signed on to the Chemical Weapons Convention prohibiting the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons, but it has not held true to the commitments it made there, Stoltenberg said. 

"Russia has used chemical agents before to attack and actually kill political opponents," he said. "We have also seen that Russia has supported the Assad regime in Syria and helped to facilitate the use of chemical weapons several times in Syria." 

Any use of chemical weapons is absolutely unacceptable, Stoltenberg said. 

"It is also extremely important that Russia understands that it is unacceptable if they consider any use of chemical weapons, and we are also very vigilant about the possibility of them trying to stage some kind of pretext, false flag operation to provide the excuse for any type of use of chemical weapons," he said. 

While Russian aggression continues in Ukraine, Stoltenberg said NATO will do what it's designed to do: defend the alliance. 

"NATO's core task is to protect and defend all allies," he said. "We have responded to this crisis quickly, activating our defense plans, raising our readiness, and deploying the NATO Response Force for the first time for collective defense." 

Right now, there are hundreds of thousands of NATO forces on heightened alert. Already, Stoltenberg  said, there are 100,000 U.S. troops in Europe and around 40,000 troops under direct NATO command, as well. Many of those are deployed in the eastern part of the alliance and are backed by major air and naval power, as well as air defenses. 

"The U.S. is currently deploying Patriot batteries to Poland and Germany, and the Netherlands are also deploying Patriots to Slovakia," he said. "All of this sends an unmistakable message: An attack on one ally will be met with a decisive response from the whole alliance." 

Tomorrow's meeting of defense ministers, Stoltenberg said, will focus in part on a reset of NATO's military posture in the face of Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine. 


"Ministers will start an important discussion on concrete measures to reinforce our security for the longer term in all domains," he said. "On land, this could include substantially more forces in the eastern part of the alliance, at higher readiness and with more pre-positioned equipment." 

lso to be considered are increases to air and naval deployments, the strengthening of integrated air and missile defense, the reinforcement of cyber defenses, and more military exercises for NATO partners. 

Stoltenberg also commended NATO nations that are increasing their own commitment to defense — something he said is now truly necessary in the face of Russian aggression. 

"Major reinforcements of defense will require major increases in investment," he said. "I welcome that Germany and other allies have already announced they're stepping up, and I encourage all allies to spend the minimum 2% of GDP on defense. We must do more, so we must also invest more to protect peace and freedom and uphold our values at this critical time." 

Continued strengthening of the alliance, he said, will involve continued strengthening of air and missile defense — which is ongoing, as well as investments in more advanced conventional capabilities, including fifth-generation aircraft, Stoltenberg said. 

Spotlight: NATO

"I welcome the German decision to invest in fifth-generation aircraft," he said. "We need also to increase readiness and our ability to monitor and detect. And, of course, we also need to make sure that NATO's nuclear deterrent remains safe and secure and effective." 

When it comes to Ukraine, Stoltenberg said that for many years now NATO allies have been training Ukrainian soldiers — many who are now fighting on the front lines in Ukraine. 

And now allies of Ukraine are providing to that country critical equipment — including anti-tank and air defense weapons, drones, ammunition and fuel — to help them in their fight. 

"This training and equipment is helping Ukraine to defend itself," he said. "Ukraine has a fundamental right to self-defense enshrined in the U.N. charter, and NATO allies and partners will continue to help Ukraine uphold that right by providing military equipment and financial and humanitarian assistance." Source Courtesy

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Russian Strategic Forces Reportedly on High Alert

As Fighting in Ukraine Intensifies


27th February 2022 | By David Vergun DOD News

U.S. officials don't doubt reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has placed Russia's nuclear deterrence forces on high alert, a senior defense official said at a press briefing today.

"We have no reason to doubt the validity of these reports," the official said.

Two soldiers look out from a large military vehicle.

This is an unnecessary step for Putin to take because Russia has never been under threat from NATO and certainly not from Ukraine, the official said.

It is escalatory because it's potentially putting at play forces that could, if there's a miscalculation, make things much more dangerous, the official said.

"We remain confident in our ability to defend ourselves and our allies and our partners, and that includes in the strategic deterrent realm," the official said.

Regarding the situation in Ukraine, the official said that roughly two-thirds of Russian forces arrayed along the border are now inside Ukraine, an increase over the last 24 hours when roughly half of those forces were inside Ukraine.

Ukrainians are putting up stiff resistance in the face of invading Russian forces, the official said, adding that no major cities inside Ukraine have yet been captured.

Four soldiers walk around two tactical vehicles.

"We believe that their advance was slowed both by resistance from the Ukrainians, who have been quite creative in finding ways to attack columns, and, number two, by the fuel shortages and the sustainment issues that they have had," the official said.

Logistics shortages have been particularly acute in their advanced on Kharkiv," which is in northeast Ukraine, the official said.

Some Russian reconnaissance elements have been in Kyiv over the last two days, and there are reports that they are wearing Ukrainian military uniforms to disguise themselves, the official said. In some cases, they have been identified by locals and by the Ukrainian military.

Russian forces, which are converging from the northeast and northwest, remain about 30 kilometers from the city center of Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, the official said.

In the south of Ukraine, Russian forces are moving northeast toward Mariupol and are now about 50 kilometers from the center of that city, the official said. They are also moving northwest toward the city of Kherson.

"Our assessment is that Mariupol is defended, and the Ukrainians will put up stiff resistance there," the official said.

The airspace over Ukraine is still contested, and that means that Ukrainians are still using their own aircraft and air and missile defense systems, which are believed to be still intact and still viable, although somewhat degraded, the official said.

In flight, a long tube extends from one plane to a jet flying below it.

Russians continue launching missiles against targets in Ukraine, mostly short-range, ballistic missiles, the official said. There are indications that some of the missiles launched have experienced failures.

There are indications that Russian forces are adopting siege tactics around the city of Chernihiv, which is northeast of Kyiv. This is particularly troubling as it could result in civilian casualties, the official said.

The U.S. and NATO continue providing Ukraine with lethal and nonlethal assistance, the official said.

An increased number of people, including some Americans, are leaving Ukraine, with many going to Poland, the official said. The 82nd Airborne Division is poised near the border and prepared to assist should the need arise.

"Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is still governing his country, still viable, still active," the official said. "He still has command and control over his armed forces."

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Russian Armed Forces hit 821 military objects of Ukraine

 Updated-26th February 2022

Updates from the Russian Defence Ministry-February 26, 2022

Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson: Groupings of troops of Donetsk and Luhansk, with the fire support from the Russian Armed Forces, expanded the areas of the breakthrough in the enemy's defence during the day and continue to develop the success of the offensive.

The grouping of troops of the Luhansk People's Republic advanced to a depth of 30 kilometers and captured the settlements of Bakhmutovka and Grechishkino.

Formations and military units of the Donetsk People's Republic, advancing in the direction of Novomayskoye, covered another 6 kilometers. Nationalist battalions, retreating, blow up power substations and bridges across rivers behind them.

The units of the Russian Armed Forces have established full control over the city of Melitopol. Russian servicemen are taking all measures to ensure the safety of civilians and exclude provocations by Ukrainian special services and nationalists.

During the night, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation struck with high-precision long-range weapons using air- and sea-based cruise missiles at the objects of the military infrastructure of Ukraine.

I would like to emphasize once again that the fire is conducted only on the objects of the military infrastructure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, excluding damage to residential and social infrastructure.

In total, the Russian Armed Forces hit 821 objects of the military infrastructure of Ukraine.

Among them: 14 military airfields, 19 control points and communication centers, 24 S-300 and Osa anti-aircraft missile systems, 48 radar stations. Downed: 7 combat aircraft, 7 helicopters, 9 unmanned aerial vehicles.

87 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 28 multiple rocket launchers, 118 units of special military vehicles were destroyed.

The forces of the Russian Navy destroyed 8 military boats of the Ukrainian Navy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Oleksiy Danilov: Ukraine will return the temporarily occupied territories

 21st February 2022 at 14:59

But solely by peaceful means

Ukraine’s task is to return the temporarily occupied territories solely by peaceful means. Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov emphasized this at a press conference within the National Forum “Safe and Capable Communities of the Future”, organized by the NSDC Staff together with the Association of Small Towns of Ukraine under the patronage of the President of Ukraine.

Answering journalists’ questions, the NSDC stressed that security issues are under the constant control of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “The security and defense sector is working 24/7”, - he added.

The NSDC Secretary noted that Russia is trying to create a casus belli, underlining that the Russian occupation forces are conducting shelling but not the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“They won’t manage to provoke us. We will not conduct warfare against our population”, - Mr. Danilov stated adding that “President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s plan is a political and diplomatic way of de-occupying territories”.

Mr. Danilov also noted that the Russian Federation is conducting a powerful information campaign against Ukraine, and called to “calm down and not give in to panic”. “Our military and our society are ready for any challenge”, - he said.

Issued by National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Putin has added additional military capability in Belarus

Russian Border with Ukraine, Kirby Says

14th February 2022 | By David Vergun DOD NEWS

Over the last couple of days, Russian President Vladimir Putin has added additional military capability along his border with Ukraine, as well as in the Belarus area that borders Ukraine, said Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby, who briefed the media today. 

A U.S. soldier of 1st Battalion, 185th Infantry Regiment, Battle Group Poland, chats with a Romanian soldier as the pair line up respective battle fighting vehicles Feb. 12, 2022, during a hand over, take over ceremony at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland. Photo By: Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Eddie Siguenza
                                                            
The United States is being very transparent with Kyiv about its intelligence assessments of those Russian forces, he said. Among those added assets, he said, are combined arms capabilities that include: artillery; air and missile defense; landing craft in the Black Sea; infantry; armor; offensive air; special operations; logistics and sustainment; cyber; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. 

"[Putin] continues to do the things that you would expect one to do if one were planning on a major military action, that is, to sharpen the readiness and to add to the capabilities of his force," Kirby said. 

"We obviously don't want that to be the outcome, and neither do Ukrainians and certainly neither do our NATO allies," he added. 

An F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron taxis to a parking space after a local area familiarization flight in support of the NATO operations at Lask Air Base, Poland, Feb. 11, 2022. Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jacob Albers

Russian Foreign Minister Sergeĭ Lavrov seemed to indicate earlier today that he still thinks there's room for diplomacy, Kirby said. "We would welcome a pursuit of that path by the Russians, because we, too, believe that there still should be and can be a diplomatic path forward." 

Should Putin decide to invade, many Russian and Ukrainian lives would be lost, Kirby said. Russia can deescalate immediately and take a diplomatic path forward. "It's within Mr. Putin's power to make the right decision now. And obviously, we hope to see him do that." 

Courtesy Link: U.S. Department of Defense



Friday, August 27, 2021

Tragic Deaths of U.S. Service Members in Afghanistan

 27th August 2021 at 3:58 AM

      Won't Stop Evacuation Mission    

AUG. 26, 2021 | BY C. TODD LOPEZ, DOD NEWS

A dozen American service members were killed, 15 more were injured and a number of Afghan civilians were also killed or injured during attacks this morning in Afghanistan.

The attacks involved an explosive set off by a suicide bomber near the Abbey Gate entrance to Hamid Karzai International Airport. Nearby, another suicide bomber set off an explosive at the Baron Hotel. Those attacks were followed by gunfire from ISIS gunmen.

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby and Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command, brief the media at the Pentagon, Aug. 26, 2021

Despite the tragic loss of life, the mission to evacuate American citizens and vulnerable Afghan civilians from Afghanistan will continue undeterred, Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command, said during a briefing today at the Pentagon.

"Let me be clear: while we're saddened by the loss of life, both U.S. and Afghan [citizens], we're continuing to execute the mission," the general said.

Right now, that mission is to evacuate from Afghanistan U.S. citizens, third-country nationals, special immigrant visa holders, U.S. embassy staff, and at-risk Afghans. Currently,  there are now some 5,000 individuals awaiting evacuation from the country, McKenzie said.

Since Aug. 14, he noted, more than 104,000 civilians have been evacuated — including about 5,000 Americans. He said he believes there are a little over 1,000 American civilians left in the country now.

"We're doing everything we can, in concert with our Department of State partners, to reach out to them and to help them leave, if they want to leave. And remember, not everybody wants to leave," he said.

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby and Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command, brief the media at the Pentagon, Aug. 26, 2021


The risks to U.S. forces conducting evacuation operations in Afghanistan are well-known, McKenzie said, and include a number of what he described as "tactical threats."

Those threats include rocket attacks, which he said could be countered by anti-rocket and mortar systems in place at the airport. "We feel that we'd be in good shape should that kind of attack occur," he said.

Also a risk, he said, are larger suicide bomb attacks similar to the ones this morning. 

"We also know they aim to get a ... vehicle-borne suicide attack in if they can — from a small vehicle to a large vehicle — they're working all those options," he said. "All of those things we look at."

The Taliban is now doing security outside the airport and McKenzie said the U.S. military is working with them so they can help mitigate some of the threats.

Right now, it's not 100% clear exactly who is responsible for planning the bombings, but McKenzie said that the U.S. military is looking for the perpetrators and will take action once it is discovered who is responsible.

"If we can find who's associated with this, we will go after them," he said. "We've been clear all along that we're going to retain the right to operate against ISIS in Afghanistan, and we are working very hard right now to determine attribution to determine who is associated with this cowardly attack, and we're prepared to take action against them. 24/7, we are looking for them."

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby and Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command, brief the media at the Pentagon, Aug. 26, 2021

Inside Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command continues to execute the mission to evacuate as many civilians as possible. Back in the U.S., the military services will conduct next-of-kin notifications to the families of those service members who were killed, McKenzie said.

Earlier today, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III expressed condolences to the families, loved ones and colleagues of those lost in the attacks.

"On behalf of the men and women of the Department of Defense, I express my deepest condolences to the loved ones and teammates of all those killed and wounded in Kabul today," he said. "Terrorists took their lives at the very moment these troops were trying to save the lives of others. We mourn their loss. We will treat their wounds. And we will support their families in what will most assuredly be devastating grief."

Like McKenzie, Austin reiterated the U.S. commitment to continue the mission in Afghanistan until it is complete.

"We will not be dissuaded from the task at hand," he said. "To do anything less — especially now — would dishonor the purpose and sacrifice these men and women have rendered our country and the people of Afghanistan." US Department of Defense

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Family Affair An Important Part of Life

  Navy Senior Officer Steven Styger embraces his family 


Naval Base Guam
: 5th June 2021 (The Eagle Eye News)::

Can you imagine a long time distance with family? Yes it is happened not only in our life but even in the life of Army. When the army officers return from the duty they hug with all family members. You may se the grace of happiness during a meet with family members.

Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Steven Styger embraces his family after returning to Naval Base Guam, June 1, 2021, following a deployment aboard the USS Asheville.

Photo was clicked by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Charlotte Oliver

Courtesy: US Department of Defense