Wednesday, September 06, 2017

U.S., Japanese Defense Leaders Condemn North Korean Nuke Test

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2017 — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera discussed North Korea's Sept. 2 test of a nuclear device in a telephone conversation yesterday, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said.

Mattis and Onodera both condemned the test as a destabilizing provocation that threatens both regional and global security, White said in a statement summarizing the call.

Ironclad Commitment

"Secretary Mattis underscored that the United States' commitment to defend Japan, including the U.S. extended deterrence commitment, remains ironclad," she added.

The secretary also underscored that the United States would work with Japan to enhance its ballistic missile defense capabilities, White said, and the defense leaders confirmed their intent to continue working trilaterally with South Korea to strengthen deterrence and to maintain the peace and security of Northeast Asia.
Mattis and Onodera also spoke by phone Aug. 30 after North Korea's Aug. 28 launch of a ballistic missile over Japan.

Readout of Secretary Mattis' Call with Republic of Korea Minister of Defense Song Young-moo

Sept. 6, 2017

Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White provided the following readout:

On September 5, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo to discuss North Korea's test of a nuclear device on September 2.  Secretary Mattis assured Minister Song that the United States remains ironclad in its commitment to the defense of the ROK.  He further emphasized that any threat to the United States, its territories, or its allies will be met with a massive, effective, and overwhelming military response.  Secretary Mattis and Minister Song discussed avenues for improving bilateral, trilateral, and regional defense cooperation in light of the threat posed by North Korea and to maintain peace and stability in Northeast Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. 

National Guardsmen Ready for Action as Hurricane Irma Slams Caribbean

By Steve Marshall National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 6, 2017 — Hurricane Irma, a monster storm packing winds up to 185 mph, is hovering over islands in the Eastern Caribbean as Florida National Guardsmen begin preparing for the storm to hit Florida and residents begin evacuating.

Air and Army National Guard members have been mobilized in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, which are in the path of the Category 5 storm.

"As we prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, I want our airmen, their families and our community to know the Puerto Rico Air National Guard stands ready and prepared. We are trained to deal with natural disasters when called upon by the governor and follow his directives," said Air Force Col. Raymond Figueroa, commander of the 156th Airlift Wing.

In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott mobilized 100 National Guardsmen, and all 7,000 Guardsmen are to report for duty on Friday. Scott already declared a state of emergency and urged residents to heed warnings and be prepared. The state adjutant general, Army Maj. Gen. Michael A. Calhoun, echoed that advice today.

Florida Prepares

"As Hurricane Irma moves closer to our state, I truly hope that everyone takes Gov. Rick Scott's call to action seriously. The men and women of your Florida National Guard are ready and prepared to respond -- are you?" Calhoun said. "Irma is a very serious threat and you need to make sure your family is prepared with enough food, water and essential supplies for at least three days. Have an evacuation plan -- Where will you go? What is your route? Who will you keep updated? Your preparedness ensures that your guard personnel and equipment can respond where the need is the greatest. We will be there to help, but I ask that you help us by being as ready as we are."

"With Hurricane Irma now a Category 5 storm, we must do all we can to prepare our families and communities for any potential impact from this major weather event," Scott told Florida residents and visitors. "We do not know the exact path of this storm, but weather can change in an instant and while we hope for the best, we must prepare for the worst."

Army Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said that more than 45,000 guard members are engaged worldwide -- including 1,200 fighting wildfires in California, Montana and Oregon, more than 19,000 responding to Hurricane Harvey's devastation, and nearly 13,000 mobilized and supporting the combatant commands overseas.