U.S. Pacific Command projects forces through AOR

| March 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

A 25th Infantry Division Stryker vehicle is offloaded from the Ocean Jazz cargo ship at Yokohama North Dock, Japan, on Sept. 8, 2017, in support of Orient Shield. Orient Shield, held at Camp Fuji, Japan, is one of the many exercises linked by Pacific Pathways. (Photo Credit: Luis Casale)

Brig. Gen. James S. Moore
593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington — Recent developments in the Pacific, including a historic escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula, ongoing issues between China and its neighbors in international waters, and a re-evaluation of the relationship between the United States and the Philippines, are reminders that the region remains a very volatile political environment.

In addition to its political challenges and regional threats, the Pacific Rim is extremely susceptible to natural disasters and is well deserving of its “Ring of Fire” moniker.

These conditions require the Army be able to deploy a sizable force on short notice to the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) area of responsibility (AOR) to counter significant threats or respond to large-scale humanitarian crises.

PACOM is the largest unified combatant command. In addition, PACOM’s AOR is not a contiguous landmass with ground lines of communication; islands and peninsulas make up much of the land in the region.

Clearly, force projection into the PACOM AOR, whether in response to a critical military contingency or a natural disaster, cannot happen instant at the onset of a crisis. It must be planned, developed and set.

Projecting a force from the continental United States (CONUS) across the world’s largest ocean requires constant, full-time attention to properly reassure allies, deter aggression, set the theater for potential contingency operations and provide timely humanitarian assistance.

Only through multiple lines of effort, including CONUS-based activities, multilateral exercises, regional engagements outside of CONUS, and the ongoing, synchronized actions of multiple stakeholders, are we able to credibly project the military element of national power across the Pacific.

(Editor’s note: Moore is the commander of the 593rd ESC. Read more details about projecting power at https://www.army.mil/article/200645/projecting_the_force_in_the_pacific.)

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