Mission, Logistics Needs Vex Pacific Forces
The balance of global power is shifting toward the Asia-Pacific region, and U.S. forces face numerous challenges if they are to maintain an effective security presence, according to Lt. Gen. Duane D. Thiessen, USMC, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific. Speaking at the opening day luncheon for TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011, the general cited logistics and communications as two of the greatest challenge areas facing the U.S. military in that region. The vastness of the Asia-Pacific region is the major cause of most of those challenges, he pointed out. As a result, U.S. forces likely will be involved with widely dispersed, relatively small unit engagements. The current large concentrations of forces will need to adapt and adjust to that future reality. This mandates forward presence and high mobility. The region's vastness requires ships for military engagements. Wide dispersal calls for "more of everything and increased capability," Gen. Thiessen said. Communications, bandwidth and interoperability remain challenging. The United States can find itself partnering with countries that lack sophisticated information technologies, which can play havoc with efforts to achieve a common operational picture, the general pointed out.