President's Commentary: Now Is Not the Time to Overlook the Asia-Pacific Region

November 1, 2014
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

The United States acknowledged a long-evolving trend when it initiated the strategic rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region. For many years we have needed to place increased emphasis on that vast and dynamic area, and the rebalance has set a course for that important goal. But we are in danger of losing the benefits of the pivot to the Pacific in several ways.

Incoming: What Not to Do When in Asia

November 1, 2014
By Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger, USA (Ret.)

"Never get involved in a land war in Asia.” So went the taunt in the 1987 film The Princess Bride, a comic adventure brimming with clever one-liners. Far from avoiding land war in Asia, we have jumped in repeatedly with both feet, both hands and all the gusto we could muster. In information technology-speak, when it comes to U.S. strategy, fighting on Asian terrain appears to be a feature, not a bug.

Emergency responders not only can enjoy common situational awareness from consolidated data sources, they also can simulate how an emergency may be unfolding and deploy forces accordingly.
Digitized topographical map data allow emergency responders to plot the course of an ongoing fire or flood on SAFER before the actual events take place.
SAFER data from sensors can be overlaid on geospatial imagery to identify and track both assets and events.

Emergency Situational Awareness Looks Ahead

November 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Emergency responders may be able to anticipate unfolding disasters before they have to respond, as a result of a new system that combines situational input with simulation. When floodwaters are rising or a fire is spewing toxic fumes, emergency personnel can simulate in real time how the threat might expand and evolve and plan their responses accordingly.

SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific personnel and sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit ONE retrieve an unmanned underwater vehicle deployed to detect mines and improvised explosives in shallow water environments.
The Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) complex, Point Loma, California, is home to several of the nation’s research, development and support groups.
A U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program dolphin named KDog wears a locating pinger while performing mine clearance work in the Persian Gulf during the Iraq War. The SSC Pacific team runs the program.

Performing Open-Heart Surgery on Pacific Fleet Systems

November 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
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As the U.S. Navy modernizes information systems across the fleet, one organization is responsible for researching, developing and fielding the full range of technologies in the Asia-Pacific region, providing complete life cycle development and support for systems, from concept to fielded capability.

The nearly $400 million U.S. Army Pacific mission command facility at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, will provide state-of-the-art capabilities and dovetail with JIE requirements.

U.S. Army Advances Plans for New Pacific Command Facility

November 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
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When the U.S. military began its now popularly termed “Asia pivot” a few years ago, the new outward focus on the Pacific region as a national military priority warranted some internal Defense Department focus on how to achieve the mission—to include bumping up the position for the U.S. Army Pacific commander from a three-star general to a four-star.

More than 40 ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations sail in formation during this year’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. For the first time, the People’s Republic of China joined 21 other nations participating in RIMPAC.
Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, USN, commander of PACOM, visits the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the People’s Republic of China. PACOM continues to work to build relationships with Chinese officials and organizations with a goal of maximizing common interests and minimizing conflicts.
A U.S. Navy F/A-18C Hornet takes off from the USS John C. Stennis in the South China Sea. The Asia-Pacific region, home to dozens of nations with diverse relationships, may have its longtime peace and security disrupted by internal or external threats.

Recent Events Test Pacific Command Agenda

November 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
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The U.S. strategic rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region is being challenged by internal and external developments that are changing how the U.S. Pacific Command carries out its missions. Internal developments include budgetary pressures and local disputes. External developments include terrorism that could be migrating into the vast region.