Pacific Air Forces staff officers say they are examining how US forces work with regional partners and allies, and how clearly defined is the command and control of these forces. From operations ranging from coalition humanitarian relief to combat in a communications-degraded environment, C2 relationships are currently an area of focus, said Col. Douglas James, an Air Force Reservist serving as PACAF’s deputy assistant director of operations. He participated in a panel discussion at AFA’s Pacific Air & Space Symposium in Los Angeles on Nov. 22. PACAF leadership has tasked the command’s operations division to come up with clear goals as to the roles, relationships, responsibilities, and authorities across the command’s units, identify how these organizations exercise with allies, and highlight areas for improvement. This coming spring, PACAF plans to host a command C2 summit at JB Hickam-Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. “Resilient architecture is critical to our responsibilities,” said James. PACAF has restructured the operations division so that there are personnel dealing full-time with agile, flexible C2. This will have implications for operations like integrated missile defense and “phase zero” power-projection activities, said James. (See also Security Cooperation and the Pacific Rebalance.)
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.