Friday, January 13, 2023

Signs of the Times - Vox Popoli


  • A large number of U.S. army tanks and military vehicles began arriving at the Dutch port of Vlissingen on Wednesday (January 11), ahead of their transport to Poland and Lithuania later this year as part of moves to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank. The equipment includes large numbers of M-1 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, of Fort Hood, Texas. Dutch armed forces are helping with marine security and guarding the port area where the vehicles will be housed before they continue East.
  • This morning Russian Navy ships and submarines left their base at Novorossiysk, in the Black Sea, en-masse. This is highly unusual and may indicate ongoing operations. Sources seen by Naval News confirm the exodus. The group included the Project 11711 Ivan Gren class landing ship, Pyotr Morgunov, the largest amphibious ship in the Black Sea. It also contained all three Project 636.3 Improved-Kilo class submarines which were present at the base. Analysis suggests that other warships were also sailing, leaving only a few warships and support vessels in the port. It is likely the most empty that Novorossiysk has been in many months.
  • The United States will continue to enhance its joint defense readiness with South Korea and Japan by conducting additional joint military exercises against growing North Korean threats, a White House official said Wednesday. John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, also highlighted that the US has devoted additional intelligence gathering and military capabilities to the region to that end. “You have seen in just recent weeks some bilateral exercises between the United States and Japan, specifically in response to the increased tensions by the regime in Pyongyang,” the NSC official said in a virtual press briefing.
  • Putin has appointed the current chief of General Staff, General Gerasimov, as the head of all the Russian forces in the SMO, with Surovikin has his deputy. This is one more indicator that the “Big Offensive” will be launched sooner rather than later.
  • China on Thursday delivered the world’s first seaborne drone carrier, the Zhu Hai Yun, capable of operating on its own. The unmanned carrier can be controlled remotely and navigate autonomously in open water. It will undertake marine scientific research and other observations.
  • Sweden’s government is taking steps to reactivate civil conscription in the latest move to shore up its defense capabilities in the wake of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The Nordic country, which in May sought entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization together with neighboring Finland, is also ramping up the number of people who are called to serve in the armed forces after a 2017 decision to resurrect military conscription.
  • Every single firing pin in the NZ Defence Force’s 9040 new infantry rifles has been replaced after a number of the rifles broke when the weapon was brought into service. The firing pin is a critical part of any firearm – without one it won’t work. The new weapon is based on the M-16/AR-15 type weapon and was intended to double the range effectiveness of those firing it out to 600 metres. The first shipment of the 9040 rifles bought from United States manufacturer Lewis Machine and Tools arrived in May last year.
  • “The liberation of Soledar was completed on the evening of January 12,” the Russian Defense Ministry said during its daily briefing. The MOD added that the town is “important for the continuation of successful offensive actions.”

Let’s just say it’s a very good time to subscribe to Castalia Library. The January-February subscription book is THE ARTS OF WAR.