The U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) joint directors are taking a regional approach to addressing the challenges facing the command. This includes activities such as forward deployment and working internationally with allies and partners, as well as dealing with challenges that emerge on a local level.
Four of these leaders discussed this aspect in a single panel at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Rear Adm. Robert P. Girrier, USN, director for operations/J-3, PACOM, emphasized the command’s approach to endorsing regional solutions by citing efforts to empower regional forums. As the region increasingly embraces security, solutions will be collective and multilateral.
The chief issues facing the PACOM intelligence community tend to be local. Rear Adm. Paul B. Becker, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Command J-2, director for intelligence, listed North Korea’s missile launch preparations, Russian submarine proliferation, South China Sea territorial disputes, and incorporating New Zealand into PACOM activities, to name a few. These represent just one week of briefing topics, he noted.
Brig. Gen. J. Marcus Hicks, USAF, director, Communications Systems, J-6, U.S. Pacific Command, noted that PACOM is working on enforcing peace while preparing for contingencies. These include humanitarian assistance/disaster response.
Significant changes have taken place over the past decade among U.S. forces in the Pacific, noted Maj. Gen. Michael A. Keltz, USAF, director, strategic planning and policy (J-5), PACOM. Its share of air wings has grown, the Navy’s best Aegis air and missile defense is deployed in theater, a C-17 wing has been located in the region, and a nuclear carrier force is based in Japan.