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Erik Slavin

Erik Slavin is the bureau chief for the European and Middle Eastern theaters of operation. Slavin previously reported on military matters in the Pacific region from Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan.



Card in a bottle sparks 70-year-old Army mystery in Japan

Using a whiskey bottle, a business card and some rudimentary carpentry, Lt. Col. Eugene J. McNamara found a way to be remembered.

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Search for missing USS Shiloh sailor suspended after exhaustive effort

The Navy and Japan Coast Guard suspended their search at midnight Sunday for a USS Shiloh sailor who officials say likely fell overboard in the Western Pacific this past week.


Lead detected in water at Navy elementary school in Japan

Water fixtures at the Navy’s Ikego Elementary School in Japan have again registered high levels of lead, though officials say families thus far appear to be unaffected following voluntary blood testing.


Reagan, Vinson carrier groups team with Japanese off Korean Peninsula; Nimitz on its way

The USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson strike groups operated in formation alongside Japanese forces in waters near the Korean Peninsula Thursday, marking the largest display yet of naval power in response to North Korea’s recent ballistic missile tests.


Video

Navy officer cleared of attempted teen sex-assault charges by military jury

A Navy officer accused of attempted sexual assault of a minor following an Okinawa sting operation was acquitted of five related charges by a court martial jury on Thursday.


Sawyer nominated to head Yokosuka-based 7th Fleet

Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer is currently the deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, headquartered in Hawaii. His experience includes command of Pacific Fleet’s submarine forces, as well as an earlier command of the Yokosuka-based submarine Group 7.


VIDEO

USS Ronald Reagan now underway on patrol amid uncertainty in Asia

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan departed its Yokosuka homeport Tuesday for a scheduled patrol of the Asia-Pacific region, amid concerns about North Korea and questions about how the White House will address China’s claims to the South China Sea.


USS Ronald Reagan patrol delayed by repair issue

The USS Ronald Reagan’s departure has been delayed due to an unspecified issue aboard the aircraft carrier, Navy officials said Monday.


Despite Navy requests, no operations near disputed South China Sea islands

The U.S. military hasn’t announced any freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea since last year, signaling a break from earlier Trump administration rhetoric on curbing China’s ambitions.


Vinson strike group aircraft, ships train while drawing closer to Korean Peninsula

Elements of the USS Carl Vinson strike group trained with allies west of the Korean Peninsula and south of Japan on Wednesday, as the United States continues to watch for signs of an imminent nuclear weapons test from North Korea.


Pence: Carrier group will arrive near Korean Peninsula within days

The USS Carl Vinson strike group will be near South Korea “in a matter of days,” Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday as concerns over a potential North Korean nuclear weapons test continue to mount in the Asia-Pacific region.


VIDEO

Pence in Japan: ‘All options are on the table’ regarding North Korea

Vice President Mike Pence said “all options are on the table” as North Korea continues to develop its nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile programs, during a speech Wednesday aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.


Carl Vinson strike group seen near Indonesia, not the Korean peninsula

If the USS Carl Vinson strike group is heading to the Korean peninsula, it is taking its time.


In show of force, Carl Vinson strike group returns to Korean peninsula

The Carl Vinson strike group is moving toward the Korean Peninsula amid heightened concerns that North Korea could soon conduct a major weapons test.


Budget woes mean less lead time for military family moves

Military families are already faced with less time to move to their next assignments and may see movements delayed if Congress does not take action, service officials told Stars and Stripes this week.


Japan considers missiles to deter N. Korea, strengthen US alliance

A Liberal Democratic Party defense panel said Wednesday that Japan should consider purchasing cruise missiles, along with stronger missile-defense measures, “to further improve deterrence and response as part of the Japan-U.S. alliance."


Civilian identified after death aboard USS Ronald Reagan

A civilian contractor who died recently after an incident aboard the USS Ronald Reagan has been identified as George Gozdziak, his company and Navy officials said Friday.


Navy’s civilian fleet offers former sailors 2nd chance to serve

About 7,000 civilians work for Military Sealift Command, a fleet with a $3 billion annual budget and more daily missions than many of the world’s active-duty sea services.


Island nation in Indian Ocean now a big draw for US, China

The answer to why a state-of-the-art port exists in a remote part of one of Asia’s smallest nations lies a short distance out in the Indian Ocean.


Offering goodwill, US cultivates partnership in South Asia

The line began forming hours before sunrise at Kirinda Peripheral Hospital, in a rural, south coast town known mostly by the nation’s big-city folk for its nearby elephant sanctuary. The Sri Lankan, U.S. and Australian military teams expected about 400 patients to show up. By afternoon, there were well over 1,000.


Report of Japan training with US Navy in South China Sea draws Beijing’s notice

China reacted cautiously on Tuesday to reports that Japan’s largest warship may deploy on a three-month patrol to include training with the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea.


Panel: Women needed for effective post-conflict, humanitarian operations

A discussion at the Navy-led Pacific Partnership exercise suggested that, by involving women in military missions and humanitarian operations — particularly in nations where gender inequality runs highest — militaries can ensure lasting peace in war-torn regions.


As 3/11 anniversary nears, US bases in Japan manage risk of another major quake

If a major natural disaster occurs, each base in Japan will handle communication and safety measures in its own way. But much of what they will do is a result of lessons learned from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.


Civilian charged after $100K theft from Yokosuka base casino

NCIS officials long suspected Cynthia Lopez Creseni's involvement in stealing nearly $100,000 from a Yokosuka Naval Base casino in 2015. She intially fled to her native Philippines, but was later arrested after overstaying a visa in the United States.


US challenges 22 countries over excessive sea claims

The United States challenged the maritime claims of allies and rivals alike with freedom-of-navigation operations aimed at 22 countries last year, according to a Defense Department report released Monday in Washington.


USS Antietam commander relieved of duty following ship grounding

Capt. Joseph Carrigan’s relief comes after Antietam ran aground on shoals just outside Yokosuka Naval Base on Jan. 31, leaking an estimated 1,100 gallons of hydraulic fluid into the bay.


Bilden withdraws as Navy secretary nominee

The Trump administration’s nominee for Navy secretary has withdrawn from consideration, citing conflicts over ethics requirements that would require him to sell his investments.


Japanese think tank argues for moving Marines off Okinawa

The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit could leave Okinawa without sacrificing its value as a security provider in the Asia-Pacific, a Japanese think tank said following a study of alternatives to building a new runway opposed by the island’s governor.


China denounces 'relevant countries' after US carrier deploys to South China Sea

China has denounced “relevant countries” for threatening sovereignty and security in the South China Sea, following the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson carrier battle group on a routine patrol in the sea’s international waters.


Chinese legal draft could pose challenge for Navy in South China Sea

China is considering maritime law changes that could clash with U.S. Navy views on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and other international waters.


Former USS George Washington commander to take helm of Naval Forces Japan

A former commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington will be returning to Yokosuka as commander of Naval Forces Japan and Navy Region Japan, the Defense Department announced Wednesday in Washington.


Navy, Chinese aircraft in ‘unsafe interaction’ over South China Sea

A Navy surveillance plane and a Chinese early warning aircraft flew within 1,000 feet of each other near contested territory in the South China Sea, in what service officials are describing as an unsafe encounter.


Teen mom, overseas Navy family face hurdles in bid to remain together

Kayla Germany took a pregnancy test before heading to her high school softball team practice, just to make sure. She didn't expect the results to include Defense Department regulations and a complex international treaty, which threaten to keep her and her family apart.


ANALYSIS

Mattis’ message to Japan, South Korea: We still have your back

If the Pentagon named bilateral talks the way it did military operations, Jim Mattis’ first trip abroad as defense secretary might have been deemed Operation Allied Reassurance.


Mattis: US will defend contested Senkaku Islands on Japan’s behalf

The United States will aid Japan in defense of the contested Senkaku Islands if they are ever attacked, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday after talks with his counterpart in Tokyo.


Navy, Japan Coast Guard search for oil damage after USS Antietam incident

Navy and Japan Coast Guard ships continued searching Yokosuka’s shoreline and waters Wednesday for signs of environmental damage, one day after the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground on a shoal and leaked hydraulic oil.