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Seth Robson

US-to-Philippines arms transfers include recon drone, 100 precision-guided missiles

U.S. officials delivered armaments worth nearly $33 million to the Philippines.

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Huge historic hangar is getting $5.7 million dollar upgrade at US air base in Tokyo

A giant 72-year-old hangar at Yokota Air Base is getting a makeover.


Navy secretary pitches 1st Fleet revival in Western Pacific, possibly based in Singapore

The 7th Fleet, based at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, is the only U.S. fleet in the Indo-Pacific region. It includes the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, which is supported at times by ships from the San Diego-based 3rd Fleet.


Japan, Australia edge toward military alliance with new training agreement

Australian and Japanese Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Yoshihide Suga announced plans during a joint news conference Tuesday in Tokyo for a reciprocal access agreement that sets rules governing troop visits.


ANALYSIS

Human rights pressures may further complicate US-Philippines relations during Biden presidency

A new U.S. administration under President-elect Joe Biden will tread carefully in its dealings with Philippines strongman President Rodrigo Duterte, defense experts predict.


Zama museum preserves history of camp serving as US Army Japan headquarters

During World War II, the military installation that serves as the modern-day headquarters for U.S. Army Japan was Japan’s version of West Point.


In calls with Biden, leaders of America’s Pacific allies pledge to work with president-elect

The leaders of South Korea, Japan and Australia each released details of their calls with President-elect Joe Biden Thursday.


Pentagon refutes reports that Marine Raiders are training forces on Taiwan

Though Washington has no formal relations with Taiwan’s government, which is elected democratically, U.S. law requires the government to ensure Taiwan can defend itself.


ANALYSIS

Defense experts predict quick cost-sharing deal between South Korea, Biden administration

A new U.S. administration will likely move quickly to resolve a rift with South Korea over the costs of supporting 28,500 American troops on the divided peninsula, defense experts said Tuesday.


Private Tokyo labs get $26 million to process coronavirus tests for US troops in Japan

Coronavirus testing for 135,000 U.S. military personnel in Japan has been handed off to private laboratories under a pair of $13 million contracts, officials said Monday.


Making friends at a new school is tougher during the pandemic, but a DODEA program aims to help

A pilot program at six overseas military schools in the Pacific aims to help kids arriving at new schools make friends amid the pandemic.


Kin of Man in Black leads Marines in island assault during Keen Sword drills in Japan

1st Lt. Justice Cash, who says he is the great grandnephew of country music legend Johnny Cash, recently led a force that stormed an island alongside troops from Japan’s new amphibious brigade.


Rider killed in collision near Yokota was former airman, motorcycle club leader

Peter James Davidson Jr., 51, a civilian aircraft maintainer at Yokota, died of head injuries after his motorcycle struck the back of a minivan that made an illegal turn, police said.


Police arrest Japanese driver after collision kills Yokota-based motorcyclist

A civilian military maintainer who worked at the home of U.S. Forces Japan in western Tokyo died in a motorcycle crash Saturday morning, according to Japanese police.


Authorized departures: Coronavirus fears mean some overseas DODEA classes are being taught from the States

"Authorized departure" is a DOD-approved practice that allows overseas civilian workers and their families to return home if they are “at a higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed” to the coronavirus.


Air Force Ospreys make first landing on Japanese destroyer to start Keen Sword drills

Over the next 10 days approximately 9,000 U.S. service members from the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force will train with 37,000 Japanese personnel along with 20 ships and 170 aircraft.


B-1B bombers arrive on Guam as US and Japan prepare for Keen Sword drills

Four B-1B Lancers arrived at Andersen Air Force Base with 200 airmen from Texas and will train with joint forces and allies.


Misawa airman’s Instagram post about sexual harassment gets senior enlisted leader’s attention

Airman 1st Class Sarah Figueroa said on social media that she experienced sexual harassment and retaliation at Misawa Air Base.


Vietnam War-era air base terminal gets $25 million makeover in Tokyo

The terminal caters to passengers and handles luggage on the Patriot Express, which flies Boeing 767 jets between Yokota and Kadena air bases in Japan, Osan Air Base, South Korea, and the U.S. West Coast.


Coronavirus pandemic has boosted Chinese power in Asia, Australian researchers say

The U.S. is ranked first for military capability, defense networks, resilience and cultural influence. However, China ranks first in economic capability, future resources, economic relationships and diplomatic influence.


USS Barry cruises through Taiwan Strait after Beijing blasts McCain’s South China Sea transit

The USS Barry's pass through the Taiwan Strait was the 10th such transit by a U.S. warship this calendar year. The last was made Aug. 30 by another guided-missile destroyer, the USS Halsey.


Despite nickname, Mount Tanigawa in Gunma prefecture is suitable for all on warmer days

Scaling Mount Tanigawa, a 6,486-foot peak bordering Japan’s Gunma and Niigata prefectures, is a risky adventure in winter. More than 800 people have died from exposure, avalanches and falls attempting to climb the “Mountain of Death” since the 1930s, about four times as many as have perished on Mount Everest, according to local news reports.


US troops are eligible for Japan’s ‘Go To Eat’ discounts at off-base restaurants

A Japanese government campaign that kicked off Oct. 1 provides a 25% discount at participating eateries.


Guam bases lower health-risk level as island reports its 60th coronavirus death

The military is relaxing the health-risk level at bases on Guam even as coronavirus infections continue to surge on the island.


US and Japanese forces will practice island amphibious landings together this month

A Japanese force modeled after the U.S. Marines and charged with defending outer islands, some of which are claimed by China, will train with American forces.


Japan hopes to have alternative to Aegis Ashore missile-defense system by year’s end

Japan scrapped plans to deploy the U.S. system in Yamaguchi and Akita prefectures in June due to the cost and a projected 10-year delay.


US military dependent dies in collision with Japanese driver south of Misawa Air Base

The accident, involving four teenagers in one car and a Japanese driver in another, happened on a two-way road in the town of Oirase, south of Misawa, that was wet from rain.


Air Force patch showing Reaper drone over outline of China vexes Beijing

An Air Force patch depicting an MQ-9 Reaper drone flying over China has angered state media in the communist country.


Global Hawk airmen arrived in Japan as a detachment, return to Guam as a squadron

Guam-based Global Hawks, which recently got upgraded signals intelligence equipment, have been deploying to Japan during summer to avoid typhoons since 2014. The aircraft have flown out of either Misawa Air Base, in northeast Japan, or Yokota.


Marines activate Camp Blaz on Guam, the Corps’ first new base since 1952

The Marine Corps has activated a new base on Guam for 5,000 members of III Marine Expeditionary Force set to move there over the next five years from Okinawa, Japan.


Ban on off-base bars during pandemic breathes new life into officers, enlisted clubs

Since reopening, the Yokota Officers' Club bar seems as lively as ever, although food is served by staff rather than spread out in a buffet and members’ beer steins have been removed from the wall hooks.