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”