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Destroyer Milius joins U.S 7th Fleet for Indo-Pacific security

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South China Sea-WEFORNEWS-min

The guided-missile destroyer USS Milius  (DDG-69) has entered the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to join the forward-deployed U.S. naval forces in Japan. Milius joins Destroyer Squadron 15 aims to support security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region by bringing enhanced missile defense capabilities as a ballistic missile defense platform.

Navy Capt. Jonathan Duffy, the commander of DESRON 15 said, “The ship’s advanced capabilities will be vital in support of our missions in the Indo-Pacific region.” Milius was outfitted with the Aegis Baseline 9 combat system that provides the ship with upgraded air defenses, ballistic missile defenses and surface and undersea warfare capabilities, according to the Navy.

During the past year, while homeported in San Diego, Milius was fitted with the Aegis Baseline 9 combat system, upgrading its air defense, ballistic missile defense, surface warfare and undersea warfare capabilities. The ship then completed Combat System Ship’s Qualification trials and multiple live-fire events to perform operational testing of its new weapons technology.

“I could not be prouder of this crew and their hard work and dedication leading up to this deployment,” said Navy Cmdr. Jennifer Pontius, the commander of the USS Milius. “The crew has trained extremely hard to get the ship fully certified and ready for tasking, and we are excited to operate forward and bring new capabilities to the [forward-deployed U.S. naval forces] team.”

With its Aegis BMD system, the Milius has the ability to provide regional, as well as the homeland, defence support and can intercept short- to intermediate-range, separating and non-separating ballistic missile threats above the atmosphere and shorter-range ballistic missiles within the atmosphere.

A U.S. Navy destroyer is a multi-mission ship that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea. The Milius is equipped with a Vertical Launching System, Tomahawk Cruise Missiles, torpedoes, guns and Phalanx Close-In Weapons Systems.

When the Milius arrives in Yokosuka, Japan, it is scheduled to undergo a regular maintenance period while the crew and their families settle into the area.

Milius follows the guided-missile destroyers USS Benfold and USS Barry as the final destroyer to transition from the U.S. 3rd Fleet to the U.S. 7th Fleet. The move is part of the U.S. Navy’s plan to rotate newer and more capable.

“I could not be prouder of this crew and their hard work and dedication leading up to this deployment,” Milius commanding officer Cmdr. Jennifer Pontius said in the news release.“The crew has trained extremely hard to get the ship fully certified and ready for tasking, and we are excited to operate forward and bring new capabilities to the FDNF team.”

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Pakistan wants to flood Jammu and Kashmir with weapons before winter

On September 8, alert troops recovered a AK-47, an M-4 Rifle, two magazines, six pistols which was smuggled through International Border sector.

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New Delhi, Sep 25 : Ahead of winter, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence has planned to flood Jammu and Kashmir with weapons to create unrest in the Valley, government sources said. To do so, ISI has procured a sizable number of Hexacopters from a Chinese firm associated with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the pretext of protecting China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) assets.

The sources said that due to the strong anti-infiltration grid established by India’s security forces, Pakistan is unable to push neither terrorists nor weapons to increase violence levels in the Valley.

“Pakistan’s ISI has been given an ultimatum to push in maximum infiltrators along with weapons into Kashmir before onset of winter, when the undergrowth/bushes in most infiltration prone areas will die down due to dew and snowfall,” the source said.

It was further stated that the ISI has reportedly analysed the rules of engagement followed by Indian Security forces that they do not fire when an intruder along the Line of Control is seen without a weapon.

“Therefore, this modus operandi to infiltrate terrorists without weapons and sending weapons separately by drones or other means has been instituted to reduce the risk of terrorists getting eliminated at the Line of Control itself,” the source said

ISI has procured Hexacopters from a Chinese firm associated with the CPEC.

Recently, security forces have recovered EMEI Type 97 NSR rifles manufactured by Norinco company of China, which is a standard issue to PLA soldiers and also gifted to Pakistan Frontier Force as part of CPEC cooperation.

On the intervening night of September 23 and September 24, two suspected persons travelling in a Mahindra Bolero from Jammu to South Kashmir were arrested while transporting one Chinese-made Norinco/EMEI Type 97 NSR rifle, four magazines with 190 rounds, one AK-47 rifle with four magazines with 218 rounds and three grenades. Reportedly this consignment was dropped through a drone at Samba.

On September 23, 2020, five AK-47 rifles, and two Pistols were recovered in Ferozpur Mamdot sector. Two AK assault rifles, one pistol, three AK magazines and 90 rounds which were airdropped by a Pakistani drone in a village in Akhnoor region were seized by Jammu and Kashmir Police on September 22.

Again on September 18, two AK-56 rifles, two pistols and four grenades were recovered along the Line of Control in Rajouri Sector.

Intelligence inputs suggest that the weapons were likely to have been dropped by Pakistani drones.

On September 14, in the Gurez sector of North Kashmir when a group of terrorists attempting to infiltrate from Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir were challenged, they abandoned their rucksacks before jumping into the Kishenganga river. One Chinese-made Norinco QBZ 95 rifle was recovered along with other weapons and bodies of two terrorists who drowned in the river recovered. The Chinese-made QBZ 95 is used by soldiers of Pakistan Frontier Corps.

Border Security Force troops on September 12 recovered a AK-47 rifle, a M16 Rifle and two pistols which were smuggled across the International Border fence in Ferozpur Kudian.

On September 8, alert troops recovered a AK-47, an M-4 Rifle, two magazines, six pistols which was smuggled through International Border sector.

Security forces have stated that they think before winters Pakistan would push in more weapons in the Valley through temporary underground tunnels across the LoC.

(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at [email protected])

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Obituary – Ex-Aus batsman Dean Jones had a love affair with India

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Dean Jones

For some strange reason, a 51-second video clip of Dean Jones being bowled neck and crop for a duck by the legendary Kapil Dev in a Test against Australia went viral on Wednesday, with a commentator uttering the words “that’s the end of Dean Jones”. And, on Thursday Jones died of a cardiac arrest, aged 59 years and 184 days, in Mumbai.

Jones, who was in India to honour his contract with a broadcaster for the IPL, was close to many Indian players, like Kapil Dev and Dilip Vengsarkar, and was a regular visitor to India for cricket-related work.

A top order batsman, Jones, who was part of the second Tied Test in which he scored his maiden double century in 1986 in Madras, played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs between 1984 and 1994. He was a gutsy batsman and wasn’t scared of stepping out to play speedsters. His running between the wickets was very brisk. Jones is perhaps best known for his 210 in the Tied Test, his maiden double century at that level — an innings after which he was taken to a hospital and was put on a saline drip after he was dehydrated during his eight-and-a-half hours at the crease in hot and humid Madras, as Chennai was then called.”

A day that changed my life forever,” Jones tweeted on September 19, on the 34th anniversary of the Tied Test. Another tweet of his that day read:

“This Test was the Renaissance for Australian cricket. It was our Mt Everest moment. Under AB [Border] we started to believe that we can compete against the best. Great friendships started with the Indians. Our Journey had just begun!” Indeed, Jones’s friendship with Indians had well and truly begun in 1987, and some of his friends, like Kapil Dev, were in the team that played at Chepauk. India proved lucky for Jones as he was part of Allan Border’s team that won Australia their first ever World Cup, in 1987 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. After retirement, Jones started getting TV work in India and was nicknamed ‘Professor Deano’. He even named his twitter handle @ProfDeano. Jones’s love affair with India continued both on and off the field. In Test cricket, although he played only three matches on Indian soil, his average here — 92.

75 — was the highest of the six countries he had played in. He played 18 ODIs in India and tallied 719 runs at 44.

94. The Aussie once also played alongside Indians in unofficial cricket. When a World XI gathered in England to celebrate the bicentenary of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in 1987, former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar partnered Jones in a game against Gloucestershire in Bristol.”

He was a very nice, jovial person. I was shocked when I heard this news today. I was absolutely devastated. Of course, we played against each other, representing India and Australia. We also played together once. It was one of the three matches played before the main five-day game between the MCC and Rest of the World XI at Lord’s in London. Dean and I had a 200-odd-run partnership. I scored 171 and he scored 70-odd in that match,” Vengsarkar told IANS. “Of course, I knew him very well. When he used to come to Mumbai for commentary etc, sometimes we used to meet. He was a good friend. And he used to play golf also. So, I was surprised that he collapsed and died today. It’s absolutely shocking,” he said. In mid-2000s, Jones also applied for the India coach’s job. Although he didn’t get the job, he became coach of the Islamabad franchise in the maiden Pakistan Super League in 2016 and guided the team to the title.

Jones played a prominent role in the revival of Australian cricket in late 1980s, especially during the 1987 World Cup and the 1989 Ashes Test series.

He went on to captain Victoria and Derbyshire. At times, Jones was too outspoken. As a commentator, he slipped a couple of times. In 2006, he called South Africa cricketer Hashim Amla a “terrorist”, a comment for which he had to pay a penalty. But he was accepted back into the commentary box while Amla forgave him. On Thursday morning, Jones reportedly greeted everyone when he was at the breakfast table in the hotel where he was staying in Mumbai. “When he went for breakfast, he was jovial and said ‘good morning boys, hope everything is fine’ to people present there,” a hotel source told IANS.

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali

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Obituary – MoS Railway Angadi will be remembered for warm gesture, smile

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Suresh Angadi,

New Delhi, Sep 23 : Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, who passed away on Wednesday evening at a hospital here where he was being treated for Covid-19 will always be known for a big smile and warm gestures by his colleagues and friends.

Angadi was made the Minister of State for Railways in May last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Soon after his appointment as MoS for Railways, he knew that he has to meet the expectations of PM Modi to improve the train services.

During the inaugural run of second Vande Bharat Express train between New Delhi to Katra on October 4 last year, just two months after the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, he travelled in train with media persons to give a message that the government is standing with the people of J&K for the overall development of the region.

There were around 80 media persons along including the camerapersons to cover the inaugural run of the Vande Bharat Express.

During the trip, Angadi kept on interacting with the media about the plans of the Railway Ministry to bring development in erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

He gave interviews for four consecutive hours without any break and assured that he answered all the tough questions posed to him.

Speaking to IANS on the same trip, Angadi had said, the Indian Railways, which has witnessed delays in completion of several important projects, was aiming to finish all of them by 2022, on the occasion of 75th Independence Day.

He had also said that the national transporter sees the option of allowing private operators to run trains as an opportunity to provide world class services.

Angadi had said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that all the pending projects and works be completed by 2022. We are focusing on completing pending works, like doubling and tripling of tracks, electrification, installation of CCTVs and signalling system upgrade.”

“New projects will be taken up only after completing them,” Angadi said.

He also favoured giving trains to private operators, and cited the example of private TV channels and said, “The entry of private players will generate more jobs and investment opportunities. In the long run, a lot of development will follow due to the competition.”

In countries like China trains run at 400 kmph. But in India trains were not running even at 160 kmph, he said.

“To compete with the world, we have to opt for investment from many sources. When a private company or people comes and invests in railways, it will create opportunities to develop economy,” he had said.

The railways had last year proposed to corporatise Rae Bareli Modern Rail Coach factory in UP.

On opposition of the Congress and other parties to corporatisation and privatisation of railways’ manufacturing units, the Minister said, “The Congress never thought about development. It has always opposed development.”

“We have not got to think of the Congress, but development and competition, and let the economy grow and create employment opportunities,” Angadi said.

Citing examples, he had said, the national highways remained undeveloped till the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government took it up and today even foreign countries were appreciating them.

Angadi in the railway ministry was also known as one of the most punctual minister. He always came to the ministry on time and ensured that the press briefing started on time.

Angadi represented Belagavi constituency of Karnataka in Lok Sabha.

He first won from the seat in 2004 and remained undefeated from the seat till 2019.

He was also known as a media man, who always remained responsive to the queries of media even late in night.

Following the news of gis death, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, “Deeply anguished at the unfortunate demise of Suresh Angadiji. He was like my brother. Words fall short to describe his commitment and dedication towards the people. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this hour of need. Om Shanti.”

Angadi Angadi admitted at AIIMS on September 11 after testing positive for Covid-19. He breathed his last on Wednesday evening.

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