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US B-52 Bomber Flies with Japanese Jets in East China Sea



US B-52 Bomber Flies with Japanese Jets in East China Sea (PHOTOS)

The US Pacific Air Forces published photos on Thursday showing two Japanese fighter jets escorting a US B-52 bomber across the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan earlier this week.

According to the release, the US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bomber and two F-15 fighters from Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force took to the skies on Wednesday to “execute a routine bilateral training mission” in the region.

A US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bomber and two Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) F-15 fighters execute a routine bilateral training mission over the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan, Sept. 26, 2018.

“This mission was flown in support of US Indo-Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence operations, which are key to improving combined interoperability, tactical skills and relationships,” the statement reads. “These missions are consistent with international law and the United States’ long-standing and well-known freedom of navigation policies.”

After departing from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the American bomber participated in training exercises near the East China Sea before joining up with 12 Koku Jieitai F-15s and four F-2s in the Sea of Japan for “multiple integrations.”

The US’ Indo-Pacific Command has been running bomber operations in the region since March 2004, the statement went on to say, stressing that the practice is “consistent with international law.”

American B-52 bombers conducts bilateral training mission with 12 Koku Jieitai F-15s and 4 F-2s with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force

Prior to the Wednesday operation, another four US bombers traveled through the skies over the South China Sea on Tuesday. According to Business Insider, B-52s flew through the South China Sea on Sunday as well.

It was previously reported by media outlets that during the training operation over the East China Sea, both Japanese and American forces flew near the uninhabited Diaoyu Islands, which are controlled by Japan, but claimed by China as its own.

A B-52H Stratofortress bomber aircraft integrated with the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force) while conducting a routine training mission in the East China Sea and Sea of Japan Sep. 26, 2018

US Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon earlier this week that the flights were really “nothing out of the ordinary” and absorb only become a hot topic due to China’s drag to militarize the contested region.

“If it was 20 years ago, and had [China] not militarized those features there, it would absorb been just another bomber on its way to Diego Garcia or wherever,” he said. Diego Garcia, the largest island of the Chagos Archipelago, is used by the US as a military base.

The September operations arrive after the US sent various aircraft, including B-52 bombers, through skies above disputed waterways multiple times in August.


Swedish Military Resists Feminists’ Push for ‘Multicultural’ Spelling Alphabet



Sweden Eyes Massive $22Bln Budget Hike to Create 'Formidable' Defense

While feminists push for adding names like Khaled, Doris and Laila into the phonetic alphabet to promote “inclusion,” the military suggests this step would endanger communication as the phonetic alphabet must “sit in the backbone.”

The official Swedish spelling alphabet used by the military and the police, is not sufficiently “equal” or “diverse” and must be enhanced with female and Arabic names, the Frederika Bremer Association and the Equalisters NGO demanded in an opinion piece published in Sweden’s leading daily Dagens Nyheter.

The spelling alphabet, also known as the radio alphabet and the telephone alphabet, is a set of words used to denote certain letters to avoid misunderstanding in oral communication. The Swedish spelling alphabet originated in 1891 and consists of traditional Swedish names like Adam, Bertil, Erik, Sigurd, Tore and Yngve.

The feminist groups want to replace the men’s names in the alphabet to become more “inclusive” and better reflect Sweden’s increasingly multicultural society. According to the feminists, there is “no excuse” for having names representing Swedish men exclusively.

“Including more than just men with traditional Swedish names is primary to visualize the diversity of society. We need to be able to speak with a language that is everybody’s. The government needs to be open and inclusive,” they wrote.

Therefore, names like Khaled, Doris and Laila should be included in the alphabet, they claimed.

“Time to include more than just Swedish men when we spell out,” the Frederika Bremer Association wrote.

“[The alphabet] has looked the same since the 19th century and it’s time to reflect today’s Sweden. Basically, it is a democracy issue about how we want the public conversation to observe like. We want the society to be open and inclusive. The alphabet used today by government institutions and in radio communication sends the improper signals,” Seher Yilmaz, the chairwoman of the Equalisters told Swedish Radio.

“With our unusual alphabet, we would like to provide the authorities and the general public with a concrete tool for increasing gender equality and improving representation,” the groups claimed.

The Armed Forces retorted that it would imply an excessive effort to change the spelling alphabet.

“This should sit in the backbone in times of combat, otherwise things can derive complicated,” Armed Forces press officer Jesper Tengroth explained. “[The spelling alphabet] should be used under difficult conditions, under stress. When abroad, we had to switch to the English alphabet, and noticed that it wasn’t easy,” he emphasized.

According to Tengroth, the Swedish Armed Forces concentrate on increasing their operational ability and prioritize gender-neutral draft and push for more women in commanding positions.

Dating back from 1884, the Frederika Bremer Association (FBF) is Sweden’s oldest women’s rights organization. It is a member of the International Alliance of Women, which has general consultative status with the United Nations.

The Equalisters is a non-profit association founded in 2010 to promote gender equality, diversity and unprejudiced representation.

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$79 Million ‘Global Hawk’ Drone Crash Caused By Faulty Data



US Drone RQ-4 Global Hawk Spotted Near Russian Black Sea Borders - Reports

A US Air Force Global Hawk drone crashed and destroyed itself last year as a consequence of the aircraft’s “erroneous” data, according to an incident investigation report published by the military this week.

A Northrop Grumman contractor in Palmdale, California, launched the $79 million aircraft before it went into a self-pilot mode. “Navigation is via inertial navigation with integrated global positioning system updates,” according to official descriptions of the aircraft’s components.

“The RQ-4 employs a quad-redundant Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (INS/GPS) configuration. The system utilizes two different INS/GPS systems for greater redundancy. The system consists of two LN-251 units and two Kearfott KN-4074E INS/GPS Units.”

Those Kearfott navigators were switched off by the craft’s operators shortly after the drone lifted off, according to an investigation into the event, which happened in June 2017.

The drone, “having failed to detect the erroneous nature of LNA’s navigational data, sent control inputs to right the fake roll data,” the report notes. “This included keeping a full throttle, even while the [RQ-4] was in an unusual nose low attitude… the [RQ-4] regained roll control, but airspeed continued to increase.”

It appears that user error in flipping off the aircraft’s navigators was a deeper cause of the incident. Investigator Col. Jeremy Thiel opined in the report, “I also find by a preponderance of evidence that disabling the [broken drone’s] two Kearfott KN-4074E navigators after takeoff substantially contributed to the mishap.”

It’s not clear why the navigators were switched off.

An F-35B crashed in South Carolina Friday in the first accident involving the US military’s most expensive and technologically advanced aircraft, a spokesperson for the US Marines told. “It was an F-35 bravo out of the training quadrant, in Beaufort,” the spokesperson confirmed when asked about reports that a military aircraft had crashed earlier in the day. The pilot ejected safely, according to a local police report.

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