Coalition Allies Must Access PACOM Networks

December 3, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Being able to operate over more than half of the Earth’s surface will require international partners in the netted realm.

Any future U.S. military network architecture must accommodate allies, or it will not work for the vast Asia-Pacific region. Operations from humanitarian aid to military conflict will involve partners, and their effective participation will depend on access to U.S. networks.

That point was driven home by the deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM). Lt. Gen. Thomas L. Conant, USMC, told the audience at the opening breakfast at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii, “We cannot do anything with our networks without the coalition built into our processes.”

The general expressed excitement about the Joint Information Environment (JIE). However, the JIE will not serve PACOM without being able to accommodate allies. “If the promises of the JIE come through, it will be a tremendous force,” Gen. Conant allowed. “But, if you can’t bring a coalition partner in, it collapses.”

Speaking to industry about new capabilities for networking, the general emphasized the need to provide equipment that supports U.S. allies—particularly the core allies in the vast region. “We are a Five Eye command now, and everything we do is based on that,” he said.

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