Cybersecurity remains the foremost concern for the man tasked with overseeing U.S. military communications technology in the Asia-Pacific area as the national defense strategy shifts focus to that region of the globe. New opportunities for technologies and programs are opening, but cyber issues continue to hold top billings in importance, and moves to shore up operations predate the recent official guidance.
Cutting-edge warfighter technologies, ranging from nanoscience products to micro air vehicles, are advancing through the combined efforts of multinational top researchers within the Asia-Pacific region. This technical collaboration is driven in part by a U.S. Air Force research and development office in Tokyo, which is building international relationships while optimizing the intellectual talent within one of the world’s most active arenas for scientific breakthroughs.
The new U.S. strategic thrust toward the Asia-Pacific region is boosting longtime efforts in both coalition building and force projection. Bilateral alliances are evolving into multinational operations, and U.S. forces are increasing their forward deployed presence in quantity and capability.
Recent improvements in Chinese destroyer technology have opened the door for greatly expanded surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, particularly for undersea operations. Advances range from new power plants and weapons to radars and sonars that provide versatility known to other modern navies. Many of these upgrades involve long-overdue improvements in warship operations. Electronics and missile advances acting synergistically are enabling new shipboard defense systems. But new sensor suites, particularly in sonars, are changing the nature of Chinese naval missions.
Modern computer software, airborne combat simulation systems and a plethora of advanced Russian surface-to-air radar and missile hardware are melding air forces and ground-based air defense systems into a seamless air combat exercise that simulates ground and air combat. Friends are able to know immediately how their simulated fight against various foes is progressing, and after-action reviews can examine tactics and weapon performance in a multilevel security environment.
The expansion of the U.S. military presence in Guam is increasing the myriad challenges that U.S. forces face in that remote Pacific island. Guam’s location, time difference and tropical climate are significant factors as the U.S. military there grows in both size and importance.
PACOM's effort to increase interaction between the U.S. and foreign governments through training exercises can reduce the potential for disputes or conflicts. What more can be done in the area to promote security and stability? Share your ideas here.
Obstacles ranging from passive obstinance to active hostility are vexing efforts by the U.S. Pacific Command to maintain security across the vast Asia-Pacific region. The command has built a structure of stability throughout the region based on diplomatic and military cooperation with most of the several dozen nations that populate the hemisphere. However, new military challenges are putting plans and resources to the test.