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  • IAF always cautious and alert says Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa:-As tensions continue between India and Pakistan over the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa has said the Indian Air Force (IAF) is "always cautious and alert" to check any untoward aerial movement on the border....
  • Chandrayaan-2 placed in Lunar orbit, focus now on soft-landing:- India's Chandrayaan-2 mission, aimed at soft landing a rover in the unexplored south pole of the Moon, achieved a major milestone as the ISRO successfully injected the spacecraft into the lunar orbit on Tuesday. ...
  • Chandrayaan 2 successfully enters orbit around Moon:-In a major milestone for India's Moon mission, the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft successfully entered the lunar orbit on Tuesday. Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver was completed successfully at 0902 hours as planned, using the onboard propulsion system, the Bengaluru headquartered space agency said in a statement....
  • Pak Army chief Gen Bajwa gets three-year extension:-Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa's term has been extended for another three years by Prime Minister Imran Khan in view of the "regional security environment", an official announcement said on Monday....

US defence budget calls for maintaining capability in Indo-Asia Pacific region

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WASHINGTON (PTI): The US should maintain a military capability to deter acts of aggression in the Indo-Asia Pacific region, the House of Representatives has said, amid aggressive Chinese behaviour in the strategic region.

Approving the annual defence budget, it noted that the US has a national interest in maintaining the stability and security of the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

The National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA)-2018 said that the US "should maintain a military capability to deter acts of aggression and respond to regional threats."

It also called for continuing efforts to realign forces, committing additional assets, and increasing investments in the region as necessary to maintain a robust US commitment to the region.

It directed the Defence Secretary to develop a strategic plan and submit it to the Congress by February 1 next year and assess US Pacific posture, deployment plans, and realignment and basing needs to accomplish defence priorities and respond to complex crises and contingencies.

To be submitted to the Congress before March 1 next year, the report should align with the Department of Defence strategy to prioritise US defence interests in the Indo-Asia Pacific region that would be required elsewhere in this subtitle, the budget said.

Calls for reassessing and realigning forces by the US come at a time when China has been increasingly aggressive in the disputed South China Sea region and flexing its military muscles overseas. It has this week sent military personnel to man its first overseas military base at Djibouti in the strategic Indian Ocean region.

Though Beijing downplayed reports that its naval facility at Djibouti was its first military base, the dispatch of PLA personnel sparked concerns in the US.

The Djibouti military base is a few kilometres from Camp Lemonnier, one of Pentagon's largest foreign installations.

China's second base is coming up in Gwadar, Pakistan, linking its restive Xinjiang region to the Indian Ocean through the US$ 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The US defence budget assured that America was committed to providing extended deterrence to allies in the Asia-Pacific, including Japan and South Korea. Also, it said that the US must maintain robust nuclear capabilities, including nuclear-capable aircraft, to assure that the full spectrum of military options associated with the extended deterrence commitments of the US remains credible and executable.

Supporting recent Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs) in the South China Sea that challenge arbitrary limitations that are in contravention of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the budget asked the US Defence Secretary to provide a report to the congressional committees that outlines US policy and strategy regarding freedom of navigation in the global commons and a plan for conducting FONOPs in the South China Sea with regularity.

The US should regularly and routinely conduct freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea, it said.

Meanwhile, a White paper issued by the House Armed Services Committee said China continues to build new military bases in the South China Sea, while the regime in North Korea continues to pursue nuclear weapons and deploy new, longer-range ballistic missiles that directly threaten the US.

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Chandrayaan-2 leaves earth's orbit, moving towards moon

India's second moon mission 'Chandrayaan-2' left the earth's orbit early on Wednesday, 23 days after being launched, and is moving towards the moon following the successful completion of a crucial manoeuvre by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is expected to reach the moon's orbit on August 20 and land on lunar surface on September 7.

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