Step by step, approaching the war!

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Source: wechat official account: Bu Yidao has been authorized to reprint

Writing / Hu Yidao

As soon as the NATO summit ended, the world’s largest multinational maritime military exercise began.

This step set by the United States highlights how much it attaches importance to maintaining military hegemony in the Pacific region.

With the participation of 26 countries, 38 surface ships, 4 submarines, about 170 aircraft and more than 25000 personnel, in fact, several unprecedented new features are being exposed.


Judging from these new features, the United States is strengthening its maritime joint combat capability in the Asia Pacific region. Strengthening this capability obviously points to the South China Sea, the East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.

The way the United States plays in the “Pacific Rim military exercise” is also increasingly approaching a real war.


The third fleet of the United States announced that the 2022 Pacific Rim military exercise was officially launched on June 30.

According to the official theme of the 2022 Pacific Rim military exercise, the participating troops will exercise a variety of capabilities, highlight the inherent flexibility of maritime forces, “and help promote a free and open Indo Pacific”.

It seems that these words are not very eye-catching, but the U.S. media highlighted in the reports that the participating countries, in addition to the United States’ staunch allies in NATO, the members of the “quadripartite security dialogue” mechanism of the United States, Japan, India and Australia participated in the exercise. Five countries around the South China Sea sent troops to participate, and all members of the “Orcus” security alliance of the United States, Britain and Australia were also present.

Even Tonga, a small country in the South Pacific, sent people to participate in the exercise.


In the mouth of “analysts”, the US media said that the military exercise was sending a message to China that “China’s expansion in the Western Pacific region will be stopped and defeated”.

Therefore, the purpose of the Americans in this “Pacific Rim military exercise” is very obvious.

The US military dispatched a fleet headed by the Nimitz class nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Lincoln (CVN-72). The “Lincoln” has been carrying out missions and intensive military exercises in the “Indo Pacific” region since January this year.

Moreover, the first f-35c squadron of the U.S. Marine Corps is also deployed on the aircraft carrier “Lincoln”, which gives the U.S. aircraft carrier a new shipborne combat capability. The stealth carrier aircraft on the ship greatly improves the sea and air combat capability of the “Nimitz” class nuclear powered aircraft carrier, especially the ability to launch an attack suddenly.

However, in the reports of the American media, it was more prominent that “the core allies and partners of the United States and Asia have also sent a strong lineup”. For example, Australia sent its amphibious assault ship “Canberra”, which currently has the largest displacement. The Indian Navy dispatched the ins Satpura stealth frigate.

However, in the view of the United States, the lineup sent by Japan and South Korea this time is more eye-catching.


The lineup of Japan Maritime Self Defense Force includes the modified “chuiyun” quasi aircraft carrier.

Now the “cloud” has the ability to become an aircraft carrier, and can carry the U.S. F-35B vertical short-range takeoff and landing stealth fighter. In this way, it can become a real “lightning carrier”.

The “cloud” also participated in the “Huantai military exercise” for the first time after modification. Last October, the F-35B of the U.S. Marine Corps stationed in Japan completed the take-off and landing test on the “cloud” for the first time. In this “circum Pacific military exercise”, the “cloud” did not carry an F-35B carrier aircraft, but some analysts believe that it is likely that the U.S. military’s F-35B war opportunity will take off and land on the Japanese “cloud” in the exercise, so as to improve the joint combat capability of both sides.

The scale of participation of the South Korean Navy reached the highest level ever. This is the 17th time that the South Korean navy has participated in the “Pacific Rim military exercise”, and it is also the largest military force since it first participated in the exercise in 1990.

The amphibious assault ship “Maruo island” with a displacement of 15000 tons is equivalent to a quasi aircraft carrier through the deck, an Aegis Destroyer “Sejong king” with a displacement of 7600 tons, and a destroyer “civil and military king” with a displacement of 4400 tons. In addition, there is a sunyuan class I diesel electric submarine with a displacement of about 1800 tons, a P-3 anti submarine patrol aircraft, two “SM” helicopters and some equipment and personnel such as the Marine Corps.


Some analysts believe that the South Korean Navy sent such a large lineup to participate in the “Huantai military exercise” is that the South Korean Yin Xiyue government wants to show the United States that South Korea can play a larger and more role in the US South Korea alliance. From the NATO summit to the “Pacific Rim military exercise”, Yin Xiyue’s government is supporting the “Indian Pacific strategy” of the United States.


When observing the “circum Pacific military exercise”, compared with various dazzling weapons, the United States has improved its joint combat capabilities with other partners, which is what deserves more attention in this military exercise. Previously, a US researcher said that if Japan makes full use of the potential of F-35B fighter in island warfare, it will help extend its air power all the way from the East China Sea to the edge of Taiwan Island airspace.

It is worth noting that before going to Hawaii to participate in the “Pacific Rim military exercise”, Japan’s “cloud” quasi aircraft carrier, Australia’s “Canberra” and the United States’ nuclear powered aircraft carrier “Reagan” just conducted a joint tactical exercise from June 19 to 24.

The navies of these three countries have also strengthened military ties with the Indian Navy. Since 2020, the navies of the United States, Japan, India and Australia have conducted two major joint military exercises, the most famous of which is the “Malabar” series of exercises. The “circum Pacific exercise” has provided the four countries with more opportunities for in-depth military exercises.


In addition to the four countries of the “quadrilateral mechanism” and South Korea, the five South China Sea countries participating in the exercise include brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.

It is said that the contents of this “Huantai military exercise” mainly include anti submarine, anti-ship, air combat and other subjects. In addition to traditional sea and air weapon platforms such as aircraft carriers, destroyers, shipborne fighter planes, maritime patrol aircraft and missiles, this “circum Pacific military exercise” also has a prominent feature that deserves attention.

The U.S. military will also show some of the latest weapon systems in this military exercise, including unmanned surface ships. The first division of unmanned surface ships of the Navy Pacific Fleet, which was established not long ago, will send four unmanned ships to participate in all exercises in the three stages of the exercise. Unmanned craft is a low-cost Surface Warfare platform, which helps to improve intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities.

This trend shows that the US Navy is integrating unmanned warships into its overall naval deployment in the Pacific region, where competition with China is increasingly fierce.

The organizers of the “Huantai military exercise” said on social media that three unmanned warships, “nomad”, “Ranger” and “maritime Hunter” crossed the Pacific Ocean to participate in the 2022 Huantai military exercise, providing more combat power and capabilities for the Navy’s traditional combat effectiveness, increasing the fleet’s tactical and strategic advantages, and providing a wider range of capabilities and deployment options.

The report said that the three unmanned warships were developed through the U.S. Navy’s “ghost fleet overlord” project. The U.S. Department of defense handed over four unmanned warships, including these three, to the Navy earlier this year.


Although these new experimental unmanned warships have not been strictly defined, they can at least perform tasks such as electronic warfare, intelligence gathering, anti submarine or mine clearance, and even play a role in confrontation. Moreover, these unmanned warships can support long-range target search and sensing in disputed maritime areas, and transmit information to traditional warships to track the activities of enemy ships.

Play the role of “intelligence collector”.

The US Navy clearly stated in the press release on the “2022 Pacific Rim military exercise” previously that the military exercise is to improve “the joint combat capability, anti strike capability and flexibility required by the joint forces, so as to prevent and defeat the aggressive actions taken by major powers in all fields and stages of the conflict”.

It is very interesting who this “big country” simulation is aimed at.

Therefore, many analysts believe that “the US Navy has taken this exercise as an important training platform to deal with the ‘conflict between major powers'”.

And when it comes to preparing for the “great power conflict”, the third coastal warfare regiment of the U.S. Marine Corps, which first appeared in the “circum Pacific military exercise”, is the response of the United States to the “pressing threat” in the Western Pacific region.

In March this year, the third Marine Regiment of the third Marine Division of the U.S. Marine Corps was reorganized and established the third coastal regiment. Compared with its predecessor, Binhai regiment will be composed of smaller, mobile, expeditionary forward base detachments and equipped with anti-ship capabilities, which is part of the design work of the “2030 force” of the U.S. Marine Corps.


From U.S. Defense Secretary Austin to officials of the Marine Corps, they all see China as a “pressing threat”.

According to the plan formulated by the US Marine Corps for 2030, the US military will eventually have three such “coastal regiments”. In addition to the third littoral regiment currently deployed in Hawaii, the other two will be deployed to U.S. military bases in Guam and Okinawa, Japan.

The main task of the coastal regiment is to quickly control key channels or islands in complex combat environments, and use or guide anti-ship missiles to sink enemy ships to assist the navy in combat. Therefore, although the coastal regiment is still developing, it should be a force worthy of attention in this military exercise.


An anonymous military expert said that the scale of this year’s “Huantai military exercise” is indeed relatively large, but compared with the past, the biggest change is not in scale, but in directivity.

The Huantai military exercise was founded during the cold war. At the beginning, few countries participated, and it was basically aimed at the Soviet Union. After the end of the cold war, the Pacific Rim military exercise began to transform, and turned not to be specific to a country. Even if there were imaginary enemies during the exercise, they would not clearly say the name of the country, but would use red, green and blue to refer to it.

The Huantai military exercise is actually divided into two parts, one of which is attended by more than 20 countries. With the participation of so many countries, to be honest, it is difficult to point to one country. Most of the exercises are aimed at non-traditional security and humanitarian relief.

The other part is carried out by the United States and its allies. It is small in scale, but the direction is very obvious, that is, it is aimed at China.


Why did this change happen? The expert believes that, first, this time it is mainly affected by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In the past, when there was no real security threat in most countries, military exercises were basically routine and procedural. However, after the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the nature is different, making more and more countries begin to pay attention to their own security issues.

Second, after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the United States, Japan and other countries have always linked Ukraine with the situation in the Taiwan Strait, saying that “today’s Ukraine is tomorrow’s East Asia”. Such rhetoric and creating security anxiety have a great impact on the Asia Pacific allies of the United States.

Therefore, now whenever it is mentioned that “conflicts may break out in the Asia Pacific region”, some people immediately “take their seats” and associate it with the conflict in the Taiwan Strait, thus exaggerating that “the people’s Liberation Army will complete reunification by force”. In this context, Japan, South Korea, Australia and other countries have carried out exercises with the United States in the context of actual combat and with clear hypothetical enemies.

Third, new changes have taken place in the form of war. We have noticed that the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia deployed the most advanced weapons and equipment of all countries in this exercise, and also used many unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned ships, all of which are to form a large-scale maritime combat network and prepare for the coordinated operations of the United States and its allies, especially in the Asia Pacific and Western Pacific regions.

For example, F-35B fighters can take off and land on aircraft carriers such as the US “Lincoln” and Japan “chuyun”, as well as large ships from South Korea and Australia. Once a military conflict occurs, the United States and its allies can share the platform to achieve the goal of “1+1 is greater than 2”.


However, the exercise belongs to the exercise. Even if the exercise is carried out in the context of actual combat, it does not mean that once a war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, the United States and its allies can participate in the war. After all, the Pacific Rim military exercise is a professional activity of the military, and it is a political decision to decide whether to participate in the war at that time.

Even in this military exercise, they dare not say clearly, “this is against China” or “it is to deal with the conflict in the Taiwan Strait”. But in this particular context, people tend to think so.

The expert said that for this “Huantai military exercise”, on the one hand, we should closely follow the exercise tactically. After all, this reflects the judgment of the United States and its allies on future wars. Grasp the advantages and disadvantages of your opponent in time, and you can also know your opponent better; On the other hand, strategically, we don’t have to take this military exercise too seriously.

After all, no matter how many countries participate, no matter how advanced the weapons and equipment are, it is just a drill.

Indeed, on the whole, this year’s “Pacific Rim” military exercise has a larger scale, more troops and more complete equipment, but it more reflects the sinister intention of the United States to use the exercise to form gangs to engage in “great power competition”, and reflects the political intention of the United States to consolidate its dominant position and promote India Pacific strategy.

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