On June 30th, more than 400 paratroopers from the US Army’s 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division parachuted into Guam as part of the Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise from Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
“The exercise was the largest airborne operation held on Guam in recent memory, according to Joint Region Marianas.”
Col. Christopher Landers, commander of U.S. Army Alaska’s 4-25 IBCT(A), led the training mission to secure the airfield as part of U.S. Army Pacific’s participation in ongoing joint exercises throughout the region to include the Mariana Islands.
“This scenario tested our ability to execute real-world missions and demonstrated that we are capable of deploying anywhere in the U. S. Indo-Pacific Command area at a moment’s notice.” said Landers.
The paratroopers came via 5 C-17 Globemaster large military transport aircraft. Immediately after hitting the ground, paratroopers with the 3rd Battalion, 509 Airborne Infantry Regiment, one of two organic infantry-battalions in 4-25 IBCT(A), seized objectives and secured the airfield.
The exercise began several days earlier, when the paratroopers were notified of the mock deployment and were screened for COVID-19.
“We are successfully balancing readiness and mission requirements with health and safety precautions to protect ourselves and our communities,” said Landers. “Andersen Air Force Base and Guam leadership have facilitated every one of our requirements. It’s been an incredible experience to work with them.”
This came after on June 28th, two U.S. aircraft carriers kicked off joint exercises in the Philippine Sea.
Rear Adm. George Wikoff, the commander Carrier Strike Group 5, said in a statement that the drills were intended to strengthen the Navy’s ability to conduct “all-domain warfighting operations.”
“The U.S. Navy remains mission ready and globally deployed. Dual carrier operations demonstrate our commitment to regional allies, our ability to rapidly mass combat power in the Indo-Pacific, and our readiness to confront all those who challenge international norms that support regional stability,” Wikoff said.
The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Groups began the drills to bolster the United States’ “responsive, flexible, and enduring commitments” to mutual defense agreements with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific, the Navy said in a statement.
The United States welcomes ASEAN Leaders’ insistence that South China Sea disputes be resolved in line with international law, including UNCLOS. China cannot be allowed to treat the SCS as its maritime empire. We will have more to say on this topic soon. https://t.co/IUmzD7OksC
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 27, 2020
During a tele-summit hosted by ASEAN chair country Vietnam on June 27th, the international group issued a statement reaffirming the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which lays out the basis by which nations can define their exclusive economic zones, which govern the special rights nations have to natural resources located there.
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