Pacific Air Forces has shifted into a warfighting command, with airmen across the region ready to fight at a moment’s notice due to the changing security landscape, the command’s leader said Wednesday. PACAF Commander Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy said that, historically, US forces on the Korean penin?sula have been the ones ready to “fight tonight” because of the North Korean threat. Now, with an assertive Russia and China on top of the threat on the peninsula, PACAF has become more “operationally focused” with its forward forces ready for contingencies across the entire region, O’Shaughnessy said at ASC16. “Airmen all the way across the Pacific are ready at a moment’s notice to respond,” he said. The US military needs to show its force in a credible manner to effectively deter threats in the region. O’Shaughnessy’s comments came as news broke about two B-1B bombers, deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, flew to South Korea as a show of force near the demilitarized zone.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.