Thursday, May 31, 2012

US naval base in Bangladesh

Times Now – a podcast project of leading Indian daily newspaper The Times of India on Friday, June 1, 2012 claimed that the United States' is on the process of stationing its naval base within the Bay of Bengal and US Seventh Fleet is scheduled to be moving towards Bangladesh maritime area within next couple of weeks. The Indian media claims that during the recent Bangladesh tour of the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, Washington formally placed the proposal of using Bangladesh territory for its naval base. US State Department has also confirmed the matter to Times of India. The Indian news media said, "Worried by increasing presence of Chinese naval bases in the South China Sea - America now eyes a counter strategy - as it wants an overall presence in Asia - right from Japan to its Diego Garicia base in the Indian Ocean.
"This by parking its seventh fleet in a base in Chittagong giving it both an eye on taking on China and a strategic post in Asia as it pulls out of Afghanistan. The US State Department denying on the record that Hillary Clinton's visits had anything to do with military co-operation.
"America's concerns clearly documented in the Pentagon report as they increasingly worried over the string of pearls of Chinese bases across the South China Sea and their naval might spreading all across Asia - putting the America behind. The Bangladeshi Government remaining extremely tight-lipped over the recent developments - as they have internally decided to deny it on record - fearing backlash from their own hardliners.
"This move by America could put India on the back foot if the American fleet moves to Bangladesh, all of India's security installations will come under the American scanner. Bangladesh is not willing to comment on record even offering explanation to deny the developments. This Clinton visit a more strategic one than just a friendly one- the Indian establishment caught unawares--as this base could cast a shadow on India's own strategic interests."
The US Seventh Fleet:
The Seventh Fleet is the United States Navy's permanent forward projection force operating forward deployed in Yokosuka, Japan, with units positioned near Japan and South Korea. It is a component force of the United States Pacific Fleet. At present, it is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with 50 to 60 ships, 350 aircraft and 60,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel. With the support of its Task Force Commanders, it has three major assignments:
Joint Task Force command in a natural disaster or joint military operation,
Operational command of all naval forces in the region, and
Defense of the Korean Peninsula. In 1994, 7th Fleet was assigned the additional responsibility as Commander, Combined Naval Component Command for the defense of South Korea.
The Seventh Fleet was formed on 15 March 1943 in Brisbane, Australia, during World War II, under the command of Admiral Arthur S. Chips Carpender. It served in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) under General Souglas MacArthur, and the Seventh Fleet commander also served as commander of Allied naval forces in the SWPA.
Most of the ships of the Royal Australian Navy were also part of the fleet from 1943 to 1945 as part of Task Force 74 (formerly the Anzac Squadron). The Seventh Fleet—under Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid—formed a large part of the Allied forces at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history. After the end of the war, the 7th Fleet moved its headquarters to Qingdao, China.
Princeton of the United States Third Fleet on fire east of Luzon at the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
After the war, on 1 January 1947, the Fleet's name was changed to Naval Forces Western Pacific. On 19 August 1949, just prior to the outbreak of the Korean War, the force was designated as United States Seventh Task Fleet. On 11 February 1950, the force assumed the name United States Seventh Fleet, which it holds today.
In late 1948, the 7th Fleet moved its principal base of operations to the Philippines, where the Navy, following the war, had developed new facilities at Subic Bay and an airfield at Sangley Point. Peacetime operations of the Seventh Fleet were under the control of Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, Admiral Arthur E. Radford, but standing orders provided that, when operating in Japanese waters or in the event of an emergency, control would pass to Commander Naval Forces Far East, which was a component of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's occupation force.
Of the 50-60 ships typically assigned to Seventh Fleet, 18 operate from U.S. facilities in Japan and Guam. These forward-deployed units represent the heart of Seventh Fleet. The 18 permanently forward-deployed ships of the U.S. 7th Fleet are the centerpieces of American forward presence in Asia. They are 17 steaming days closer to locations in Asia than their counterparts based in the continental U.S.
It would take three to five times the number of rotationally-based ships in the U.S. to equal the same presence and crisis response capability as these 18 forward deployed ships. On any given day, about 50% of Seventh Fleet forces are deployed at sea throughout the area of responsibility.
Following the end of the Cold War, the two major military scenarios in which the Seventh Fleet would be used would be in case of conflict in Korea or a conflict between People's Republic of China and Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait.
It was reported on 10 May 2012 that USS Freedom (LCS-1) would be dispatched to Singapore in the northern spring of 2013 for a roughly 10-month deployment.



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