Air Base 4 & The Red Sun Rising On The Atlantic

Any bets on whether Bozo the President closes Lages Field so the Chinesians can have it?

On June 27, a plane carrying Wen Jiabao made a “technical” stop on the island of Terceira, in the Azores. Following an official greeting by Alamo Meneses, the regional secretary of environment of the sea, the Chinese premier spent four hours touring the remote Portuguese outpost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Wen’s 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. For one thing, Wen’s last official stop on the trip was Santiago, the capital of Chile. Flights from Chile to China normally cross the Pacific, not the Atlantic, so there was no reason for his plane to be near the Azores. Moreover, those who visit the Azores generally favor other islands in the out-of-the-way chain.

Terceira, however, has one big attraction for Beijing: Air Base No. 4. Better known as Lajes Field, the facility where Premier Wen’s 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 less than 2,300 miles from New York, shorter than the distance between Pearl Harbor and Los Angeles.

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.”

If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing the Azores, they are quite a place. Mountainous volcanic rock jutting up from the Atlantic. They are sub-tropical, so Hawaii it ain’t, but it truly is a remarkable piece of dirt. The customs area of Lages Field is the only place I’ve ever seen and “Amnesty Box”. The attached sign implores the reader to take advantage of the last chance to rid themselves of contraband.

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6 Responses to Air Base 4 & The Red Sun Rising On The Atlantic

  1. R.D. Walker says:

    Yeah, that can’t be good.

    I think the “red sun” usually applies to Japan, however.

  2. notamobster says:

    Yeah, I know but I thought it might work. It’s not the worst thing I’ve put together.

  3. R.D. Walker says:

    And you are working from deer camp.

  4. notamobster says:

    Nah, I came home to pick my 9 year old daughter up for her first time hunting. I’m just waiting on her to get home, so I’m sitting in the warm kitchen with a cup of joe, playing with my mistress, The Real Revo.

  5. rj says:

    sure he will give it away, cause we heve these flat top boats that ya can land a plane on doncha know….

  6. Locke n Load says:

    If Obutthead had even a modicum of sense he’d be toying with the idea of moving Africom there.

    Even of the ChiComms get it it would only be useful for a sneak attack, lol. In the event of a WW2 style conflict we could blast the f**kers and their ‘foothold’ into oblivion in about 15 minutes.

    Point being, I wouldn’t worry about the Azores and those fierce Portugese (Ha!). I’d be keeping my eyes on how China’s doing a ‘yellow mans burden’ on the African continent, giddyup style. China is aquiring more mineral rights and mines than anybody here seems to realize. They’re colonizing the place and they’re absolutely brutal. Don’t forget, when China has natural resource needs and sends ‘business’ interests to aquire them, it aint big business like GE. The PLA runs the companies that control both ends of the Panama canal…or didn’t that make the presses over here after the handover.
    Thank you Jimmuh!

    The PLA is THE backer of most of these enterprises. China is still very communist, still very aggressive, and is quickly discovering they can get as fascistic as they please without anybody busting their balls.