Sunday, September 03, 2017

Secretary Mattis Statement at the White House

Press Operations
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis

We had a small group national security meeting today with the President and the Vice President about the latest provocation on the Korean peninsula.

We have many military options, and the President wanted to be briefed on each one of them.

We made clear that we have the ability to defend ourselves and our allies – South Korea and Japan – from any attack. And our commitments among the allies are ironclad.

Any threat to the United States, or its territories – including Guam – or our allies will be met with a massive military response – a response both effective and overwhelming.

Kim Jong Un should take heed the United Nations Security Council’s unified voice – all members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses, and they remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula – because we are not looking to the total annihilation of a country – namely, North Korea.

But, as I said, we have many options to do so. Thank you very much.

Mattis, Dunford Brief President on Military Options Available to Deal With North Korea

By Cheryl Pellerin DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2017 — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, standing in front of the White House this afternoon after the latest and largest nuclear test carried out by North Korea, said the United States has many military options for dealing with Kim Jong Un's provocations and that President Donald J. Trump wanted to be briefed on each one.

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined Mattis for his announcement.

At about 11:30 p.m. EDT last night, the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Hazards Program detected a magnitude 6.3 explosion, about 13 miles east-northeast of Sungjibaegam, North Korea, located near the site where North Korea has detonated nuclear explosions in the past, according to a USGS statement.

Other institutions and organizations specializing in seismic detection also reported the explosion and resulting seismic signature.

The Korean Central News Agency announced that North Korean scientists had carried out a test in the country's northern nuclear test ground of a hydrogen bomb built to sit on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile, describing the device as a two-stage thermonuclear weapon.

Media reports say that the test was the most powerful of the six, but there is no official measurement yet of the force of the hydrogen weapon.

Ironclad Commitment

In his remarks, Mattis said they had made clear to the president that the United States has the ability to defend itself and its allies -- South Korea and Japan -- from any attack.

"Our commitments among the allies are ironclad," the secretary added. "Any threat to the United States or its territories, including [the U.S. territory of] Guam or our allies, will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming."

This nuclear test was North Korea's sixth since 2006.

The weapon tested last night was a fusion bomb, also called a hydrogen bomb or thermonuclear weapon. Fission weapons, such as those that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, are sometimes called atomic bombs.

In a hydrogen bomb, according to a 2012 paper by Martin E. Hellman, a Stanford University professor, a primary element is an implosion fission weapon that is used to ignite the secondary fusion reaction.

The Air Force Technical Applications Center at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, is the only federal organization whose mission is to detect and report technical data from foreign nuclear explosions. The center operates and maintains a 3,600-sensor global network of nuclear event detection equipment called the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection Systems, the largest sensor network in the Air Force.

Once a disturbance is detected underground, underwater, in the atmosphere or in space, the event is analyzed for nuclear identification, and the findings are reported to national command authorities.

Unified Voice

This afternoon, Mattis said that Kim Jong Un should take heed of the United Nations Security Council's unified voice.

"All members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses, and they remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," he said.

"We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea. But as I said, we have many options to do so," Mattis added.

The U.N. Security Council announced that it will have a meeting about the nuclear test tomorrow morning.

Soldiers Take Pride as Hurricane Harvey Response Continues

By Army Spc. Dustin D. Biven, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

KATY, Texas, Sept. 3, 2017 — In response to Hurricane Harvey, the Army has deployed more than 700 wheeled vehicles and more than 90 helicopters. These assets are invaluable, but it is the people who fill the more than 16,000 uniforms aiding in the recovery who are making the difference to those in need.

Since the relief effort began, soldiers have saved 6,000 people in Texas and Louisiana and have rescued more than 300 pets.

"We are very proud to do this. It means so much," said Lt. Col. Matthew Masias, a commander and pilot in the Texas Army National Guard. "Every time we get a mission, we know we are doing something good for people, and we know what we are doing is helping people in need out." Masias has conducted several missions with his crew to deliver life-supporting supplies to affected communities.

Major Hub

Houston Executive Airport here, just outside of Houston, has become a major hub for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Military aircraft are continuously coming and going. Missions include rescue, supply distribution or troop transportation.

Maj. Scott S. Davis, a flight physical assistant assigned to the Texas Army National Guard's 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, participated in multiple supply drops, including a Sept. 1 food and water drop-off in Sour Lake, Texas.  "Watching these pilots, crew chiefs and maintenance crews work hard to get much needed supplies to those most in need has been one of the highlights of my career," he said.

Aviation missions from Houston Executive Airport have been running continuously since Aug. 31. Transport by aircraft has been effective and efficient, with a demanding schedule for pilots and crews.

24-Hour Operations

"We're on 24-hour operations now, flying day and night," said Pvt. Robert Paul, an infantryman in the Texas Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment, who was called up to support the relief operations. "We're just getting started. There are plenty out there who need our help."

Thousands of people along the U.S. Gulf Coast suffered from Hurricane Harvey. The efforts to relieve those in need include contributions from service members from all over the country.
"The moment we saw that people were in need, we answered their call. In situations like this, it's not Texans helping Texas, or Louisianans helping Louisiana," Masias said. "We have people from all over coming to help, so it's really Americans helping Americans, and it's amazing."