Operating in Such Proximity

Operating in Such Proximity: The US is at a somewhat elevated operating tempo in the vicinity of the South China sea, according to Pacific Air Forces chief Gen. Hawk Carlisle, who spoke with reporters Sept. 19 during AFA’s Air & Space Conference. The US is “actively engaged there,” and Carlisle said US intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance work is a big piece of it. The ISR effort can help “reduce the risk of miscalculation” if everyone knows what’s going on, he said. Asked if he’s concerned about conflicts resulting from the close proximity of aircraft—like the collision between a Chinese fighter and an EP-3 some years ago—Carlisle said “we’re all worried” about such risks. “We conduct operations in international airspace, within international waters that is in the vicinity of the PRC. They have a tendency to either intercept or send ships out, [and] we always ask for a professional approach to things when they don’t handle themselves in a professional manner.” Carlisle didn’t elaborate on such friction, but he said, “We bring it up with our counterparts in the PRC.” He added, “We are open to dialog.” The US doesn’t take a stand on who has what rights in the area; it just hoes for “a peaceful resolution” to the disputes, he said.