The South China Sea tensions have not eased up and more countries are boosting their military capabilities in preparation for a possible conflict. As Indonesia plans its biggest military exercises, US navy ships have docked at Vietnam’s critical South China Sea port.
The Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) will be holding a range of large scale military exercises including all three service branches in the Natuna Islands region in the South China Sea. Information came from sources at the TNI’s headquarters told IHS Jane’s on October 3.
Indonesia Launches Largest Military Movement
According to Janes, the exercise will start from October 6 and will commence with the Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara’s, or TNI-AU’s) fighter jets on top of utility helicopters, transport aircraft including ground special forces. The drills are expected to also cover getting back a captured runway and an air raid. The Indonesian Army should also be undertaking land-based exercises.
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US Navy Ships Arrive in Vietnam
This is not the only movement in the South China Sea region; Vietnam is also making its own moves. According to Sputnik, two US Navy ships just docked in Vietnam for the first time since the conclusion of the Vietnam War in 1975.
“The ship’s visits to Cam Ranh Bay International Terminal and the naval port at Da Nang, as well as a series of at-sea exercises with the Vietnam People’s Navy, are further evidence of the growing strategic relationship between the United States and Vietnam,” Sputnik quoted Senator McCain in a statement.
“I am confident our two nations will continue to work together to strengthen open maritime commerce and maintain a balance of power that favors the rules-based order that underpins our shared security and prosperity.”