Friday, June 19, 2015



Links restored 12/4/2015  / Updated 1/15/2020

Photo: U.S.Navy


Editor's note:  1/15/2020 We have been following this development since 2015 and conclude that it is still on going due to China's rapid development of their Navy. Plain and simply China is building war ships faster than she can train crews to man them. The original massive recall was viewed as something of a provocation of the United States, and whether intended or not served as such. When the US failed to deal with the expansion of the Chinese Navy and Coast Guard, China escaped a naval arms race. The US has virtually abandoned the field to allow China to build numbers and eventually technological parity with the US Pacific Fleet more or less at their leisure. 

 You won't read about this is our national media, but it's no state secret in China, and if you happen to have someone who reads Mandarin with native fluency and monitor such Chinese media; the evidence of this is as clear as a bell. Between June 16 and 17, 20015 Chinese naval authorities have been putting out the call for the return to active duty of a large number of recently retired naval senior petty officers, just the sort of people who operate and maintain navigation, propulsion, and weapons systems. There are no "90 day wonders" in the senior petty officer corps you have to have an amazing skill set of proven value and the proven ability to perform when the chips are down. If you are going to have a rapid naval build up the only way to build up this capacity fast is call up reserves or retirees. That is exactly what the dragon is doing today. 

 The PLAN (Peoples Liberation Army's Navy) has recently recalled nearly all of its senior petty officers (non commissioned) who have retired over the last two years. The PLAN makes no secret about the fact that the call up is for a potential military confrontation with the United States over the South China Sea. Our unique sources tell us that the order for recall was issued by political bureaus of their original naval units and or the local "People's Armed Forces Departments". Part of the urgent need is simply to man the greatly expanded fleet which has grown in ship numbers faster than the lengthy apprenticeship programs can produce petty officers. As any navy institutionally knows, senior petty officers require time and experience to build, the alternative of intensive rapid training never produces the desired results and there are casualties involved to men and material when the operators and maintainers training is compressed. Of course the massive fleet has many functions other than confronting the United States. China has its own legitimate exclusive economic zone and territorial waters to defend plus it is busy attempting to seize the exclusive economic zone waters and water bottoms of neighboring states. Since this post was first published China has developed a massive coast guard capable of defending their EEZ and pressuring neighbors to make maritime territorial concessions. The PLAN appears determned to turn its attention seaward beyond the "First Island Chain, with a stated goal of "driving the United States back to Pearl Harbor. "  The recent story we carried yesterday (June 18, 2015) of China's backing off commitments to build more artificial islands in the South China Sea looks a bit like a bone tossed toward the U.S. and its regional partners. But as we noted China has built over 2,000 acres of artificial island land in the disputed areas and intends to keep up military development on these parcels. 

 So does the recall of the PLAN's senior petty officer corps mean war over the Spratly Islands? We don't think so in any immediate fashion. First despite superior numbers China would be highly unlikely to emerge victorious just now. They would likely face combined U.S., Japanese, Philippine, and Australian naval units with many being technologically and tactically superior. If facing a combined force China's numerical superiority over the U.S. Seventh Fleet shrinks. China is hemmed in by the "First Island Chain"which are actually off shore nations like the Philippines. Not only can these nations offer naval resistance but they can direct weaponry out to sea from shore. The U.S. Navy has a very long reach and may be able to largely stay in the relative safety of the open Pacific and conduct a naval air war with the Chinese fleet and not even enter the South China Sea until there has been serious attrition to China's fleet. In other words, at this moment in history China could be setting up to become "fish in a barrel". 

 But make no mistake about it. The build up continues and the avowed goal of China about which it makes no denial is to "push the U.S. Navy back to Pearl Harbor" and to occupy and administer the South China Sea out to the "first Island Chain  as the virtual territorial waters of China. If it is not about to happen this month or this year it is still the long term goal. The recall of the retired petty officers is a step in that direction. 


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