C3 Key to Asia-Pacific Stability

November 19, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Expeditionary Marines need effective communications on the move.


Maintaining peace—and avoiding miscalculations—in the Asia-Pacific region ultimately may rely on effective command, control and communications (C3), offers the commanding general of the U.S. Marine Forces Pacific. Lt. Gen. John A. Toolan, USMC, told the Thursday breakfast audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2015, being held in Honolulu, November 17-19, that maintaining connectivity among expeditionary forces and allies will be vital to respond to emerging challenges in the vast region.

For the Marines, the key is to ensure continued networking among the forward deployed force. Gen. Toolan emphasized the importance of the expeditionary force being forward deployed, saying, “If we are not forward deployed, then we will not be in the right place in the right time. Then, we will have all our allies and partners folding.”

The Corps’ Expeditionary Force 21 lies at the heart of this needed connectivity, as it will extend the singular network instead of creating a new one. New platforms such as the F-35 will be linked to this network, which will create new types of data available to forward echelons.

But connectivity among allies also is vital, especially with China unilaterally establishing new presences in the Sea of Japan. “The possibility of miscalculation is serious, so we need to be present,” Gen. Toolan said, adding that the best way to avoid it is to have good C3. The general noted that China has told the United States to have good C3 in place with U.S. allies to help avoid dangerous miscalculations.

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