A significant missile defence development this month has been the inauguration of the European Sky Shield Initiative. Spurred on by the conflict in Ukraine, Germany has spearheaded an initiative to create a European air and missile defence system through the common acquisition of air defence equipment and missiles by European nations as a complement to NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence. On the other side of the world, following North Korea's ballistic missile launch over Japan on 4 October, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer conducted a trilateral ballistic missile defense exercise in the waters between Korea and Japan, alongside Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers and a Republic of Korea Navy destroyer.
The ever-thoughtful Javier Rivera also invited me on to his channel for a discussion about God and secularism this month. I felt we had a very fruitful dialogue in that I found my understanding of the faithful position enriched by talking to Javier.
And finally there's the usual round up of interesting books I've seen around and about. Wish I had a million lifetimes to read them all.
In this month's digest
- Readiness of Aegis Ashore in Redzikowo in 2023
- Serco continues to provide critical support at RAF Fylingdales
- Fifteen European countries unite to boost air defence capabilities
- Estonia joins the European Sky Shield Initiative
- 14 NATO Allies and Finland agree to boost European air defence capabilities
- Glide Phase Interceptor passes Systems Requirements Review milestone
- U.S., Japan, and the Republic of Korea Conduct a Trilateral Ballistic Missile Defense Exercise
- God, Secularism and the Plurality problem with Javier Rivera
- Interesting looking books round up
Ran this through Google Translate but it appears that due to issues with the building contractors the Aegis Ashore facility in at Redzikowo airbase in Poland will be delayed until 2023.
'Serco will continue to be responsible for the operation, maintenance and repair of the SSPAR and associated hardware and life support systems including project management, facilities and hardware systems maintenance, analytical and training activities.'
One of the more interesting missile defence developments this month. The war in Ukraine has stimulated the various European NATO nations to accelerate their missile defence integration and cooperation.
'Germany, which spearheaded the project, will coordinate the joint procurements to urgently plug existing gaps with regard to possible air attacks at close range -- including drones -- as well as medium and long-range, and especially against ballistic missiles and cruise missiles which Russia owns, its defence ministry said.'
'From Estonia’s point of view, it is important that the decisions taken in Madrid to strengthen the defence of NATO’s eastern flank are quickly implemented.'
'GPI is a counter-hypersonic missile programme designed to provide a regional layer of defence against glide-phase hypersonic threats that might target the US and its allies.'
'Following the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) ballistic missile launch over Japan on Oct. 4 (local time), which was part of a larger series of launches over the past two weeks, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65), part of the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, conducted a trilateral ballistic missile defense exercise in the waters between Korea and Japan, Oct. 6 (local time) alongside Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers JS Chokai (DDG 176) and JS Ashigara (DDG 178), and Republic of Korea Navy destroyer ROKS Sejong the Great (DDG 991).'
God, Secularism and the Plurality problem
Enjoyed finally getting to have a one-on-one conversation with the thoughtful and reflective Javier Rivera. I pushed out of my comfort zone with this one as it was quite a personal discussion regarding thoughts on God and secularism. I could tell that Javier took seriously the principles of the religions he had engaged with and tried to imbibe their principles in his own life. In particular I appreciated his comments on the relationship between individuals and God being akin to the relationship between different individual people, rather than some one-size-fits-all doctrine. I attempted to defend the idea of the secular as a least-bad option which at least owns all its flaws since it is a creation of the human mind but hopefully, much as with the US Constitution, it can provide a neutral backdrop against which people of many different denominations can find a space to express themselves. Not only was it a pleasure to engage in dialogue with Javier but I'm also grateful for his invitation to discussion as it forced me to solidify some thoughts on the nature of religion and secularism that had been bouncing around in my head for years if not decades. I'm writing a short essay bringing these thoughts together which will be out in November.
Interesting looking books round up
However vast the darkness we must supply our own light - Stanley Kubrick