Skip to comments.Red Flag Over the Atlantic China angling...a U.S. airbase in the Azores
Posted on 11/17/2012 7:55:17 AM PST by daniel1212
On June 27, a plane carrying Wen Jiabao made a technical stop on the island of Terceira, in the Azores... the Chinese premier spent four hours touring the remote Portuguese outpost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Wens Terceira walkabout, which followed a four-nation visit to South America, largely escaped notice at the time, but alarm bells should have immediately gone off in Washington and in European capitals...
Terceira, however, has one big attraction for Beijing: Air Base No. 4. Better known as Lajes Field, the facility where Premier Wens 747 landed in June is jointly operated by the U.S. Air Force and its Portuguese counterpart. If China controlled the base, the Atlantic would no longer be secure. From the 10,865-foot runway on the northeast edge of the island, Chinese planes could patrol the northern and central portions of the Atlantic and thereby cut air and sea traffic between the U.S. and Europe. Beijing would also be able to deny access to the nearby Mediterranean Sea.
And China could target the American homeland...
Lajes is certainly the reason Wen went out of his way to win friends in Terceira. For years his country has been trying to make inroads into the Azores and waiting for opportunities to pounce. There is nothing the Chinese can do if the U.S. stays, but Pentagon budget cutters, according to some observers, are planning to make Lajes a ghost base.
At one time, the facility was critically important. During World War II, the airfield was instrumental in hunting U-boats, and in the Cold War the base helped the West track the Soviets. Lajes was a busy transit point in the Gulf War. It was one of the spots where the Space Shuttle could have landed in an emergency.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
better not cut the azores
Why would China want to attack one of its biggest trading partners?
I hope that’s a rhetorical question. It’s no secret they want what we have.
One nuke would melt Lajes to the water line.
Let the CHICOMS have it. We can run their subs around in circles and play “Hoo Flung Dung.”
If I had by druthers , I would sooner see Israel have that base.
Not now, but things happen, as does judgment, after a time.
Why did Nazi Germany attack the Soviet Union (biggest trading partners)? For that matter, why did Alexander the Great advance up the Silk Road?
Erstwhile trading partners attack eachother all the time. Japan, prior to Peal Harbor was a major US trading partner. US embargos ended that. Embargos that were designed to get Japan out of China & Manchuria.
Terceira, Lajes Field as it was once called, is or was a curious place. On the east side a 10,000 ft runway and an installation that contained Navy, Army and Air Force installations. Air Force provided comms and A/C support, Navy flew the planes (P-3 Subhunters working with Rota Spain), and the Army, believe it or not ran the port there. On the east side was a larger city that liked to think it actually was part of Portugal.... you could drive around the whole island in an hour.
Don’t get me wrong, if you were married and had your wife there it was wonderful. Base plane to the Canaries, Rome or wherever, once every 18 months or coupla years....they were the only ones there long enough to get high up on the waiting list for the base C-54 ‘training flights’ A single guy (me) never had a chance to be there long enough.....some of these married guys spent 5+years there...
I was in 8 years and three months, 7 of them overseas - multiple COTs. I count the 15 months there among the worst. I actually volunteered worldwide anywhere (even Viet Nam) to get out of there.
Stopped there a couple of times while flying from Rota to JAX and back. Big thing was for everybody to pick up a few cases of Portuguese wine on the way back to Rota.
Well, I can say that I drank A LOT of that! They did also have some good local cheese....
I should mention, that the women there, girls actually, were knockouts! Trouble was they were all mostly jailbait with a capital J! Many of the guys there married them and stayed there thier whole enlistments. Very cheap to live, good US military bennies, etc. Trouble was that it was virtually impossible to find one there that was of legal age (except for the ladies of the evening).
Completely innocent visit involving the Chinese premier then? He simply drove around the island 4X! Maybe he was meeting his mistress, or something. Can’t be too careful in China during “Government Changeover” Days.
It`s beautiful out there... I was there on an IG visit for Air Combat Command in 2001. When my part of the inspection was complete, I boarded an inter-island flight and went over to Sao Jorge island and met cousins I never knew existed. Had a great time. Since it was in April, the winds were awful, and I almost didn`t get back to Terceira to fly back with the IG team, though... was on pins and needles on that one..
That's sarcasm, right?
I lived at Lajes for two years in the sixties. It was one heck of a nice place. Everything was 10 cents then; a gallon of gas, a loaf of bread, a pack of smokes.
I hate to see the Chi Comms take it over because it would give them some decided advantages in terms of defense and offence. Cut the distance their plan have to fly, allows them to carry more stuff and less fuel, etc., etc.
Having said that, the continued need for Lajes for the US, going into the 21t century is highly questionable at best.
It looks like our greatest rational would be to keep it out of Chinas hands
Poor Portuguese, they’re such a sweet, lovely, staggeringly poor people. Hate to see what happens after the Chi Comms move in!
What, they want obammy?
Hell they can have his sorry marxist ass.
Try it being an Airman Nobody with no money no support and no future.
The story is premised on a big “IF”
We do not need the Chinese in the Atlantic, no freaking way
Big thing was for everybody to pick up a few cases of Portuguese wine on the way back to Rota.
We used to load 100 to 200 cases on a KC-135.
Governments colluding together is not the same thing as free trade. History shows that the more two nations engage in market commerce with each other, the less likely they are to go to war. War is often proceeded by protectionism and embargoes, where free trade brings peace. Forgive me for believing that free market capitalism is the best agent for peace and that war is just another failed big-government program. I thought people on this forum believed in small government. I used to be a hawk too, but people like Adam Smith and Milton Friedman convinced me otherwise.
Stationed there in 85-88 and went back 95-96.
Excellent golf course, loved the food and the people actually liked Americans.
Easy to get morale leave to Europe or the states. Went to Germany numerous times.
Things must have really changed since you were there in the Vietnam era.
My bad. I was focused more on the word “trade” as opposed to “free trade” — a historically rare form.
The Russians are building Air and naval bases in Cuba, Venezuela, and Trinadad/Tobago, as well as Nicaragua.
Not sure what you`re driving at.. the space-A flight opportunities out of Lajes were great.
Thorns in the flesh.
“Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him. They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. “ (Hosea 8:3-4)
HOW EXCESSIVE GOVERNMENT KILLED ANCIENT ROME
In the end, there was no money left to pay the army, build forts or ships, or protect the frontier. The barbarian invasions, which were the final blow to the Roman state in the fifth century, were simply the culmination of three centuries of deterioration in the fiscal capacity of the state to defend itself. Indeed, many Romans welcomed the barbarians as saviors from the onerous tax burden.
In conclusion, the fall of Rome was fundamentally due to [rejection of the Gospel] economic deterioration resulting from excessive taxation, inflation, and over-regulation. Higher and higher taxes failed to raise additional revenues because wealthier taxpayers could evade such taxes while the middle class—and its taxpaying capacity—were exterminated. Although the final demise of the Roman Empire in the West (its Eastern half continued on as the Byzantine Empire) was an event of great historical importance, for most Romans it was a relief. - http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cjv14n2-7.html
We don’t have the authority to stop them anymore than they have theauthority to stop us. But, I take your point. Let’s hope Obozo does!?
We really don’t need another one of his foreign policy “successes!”
I’m not talking Space-A..(although I spent four days in Taipei trying to get a ride to Kadena watching officers with kids going to a swim meet on Okinawa and others with special privileges getting preference).
I was talking about the morale flights. To Germany, to Italy, to Canary Islands, etc. They had a base plane (an old C-54) that would go on ‘training flights’ loaded with “moralees”....needed to be on a waiting list....guess who got to go? Why those lifers that were there on 5-10 year terms with their wives and kids. A poor airman there for 12-15 months never had a chance to move up on the list.
It was a chief reason why I never went lifer, even though serving over 8 years. Enlisted and Officers with dependents were treated much much better than singles (e.g., a single Tech Sergeant got 400lbs whole baggage allowance, ‘families’ got TONS).
I got smart, got out and went to college. I make much much more now and pay in state taxes than I EVER made in a year in the military.
See Post 30.
Well, it has definitely changed. The morale flights out of Lajes were Space-A on C-135, C-5, C-141 and the weekly Navy medivac C-9 on it’s way to Rota. There was also a charter 727 or L1011 back to Philadelphia on a weekly basis. the base didn’t have it’s own military transport.
If you were in EML (Emergengy or Morale Leave) you were on the Space-A flight ahead of everybody but PCS passengers or family members of deceased military members being carried in the hold. You would bump normal leave passengers, retirees and family members traveling with normal leave military.
Your standing in the EML list was based on how long you had been on the Rock and rank didn’t have it’s privileges.
So, yes, I would say it had changed since Vietnam era. I don’t know how it works now as I haven’t been to Lajes since 1996. Eventually I will get back there. I have promised my wife that we would visit everywhere I was stationed in my career.
Flying Space-A on MAC - Military Airlift Command, aka “Maybe Airplane Come” was an adventure, indeed.