Building Credibility, Confidence and Trust through Engagement in the Pacific

By Wiercinski, Francis J. | Army, October 2012 | Go to article overview

Building Credibility, Confidence and Trust through Engagement in the Pacific


Wiercinski, Francis J., Army


America's new strategic focus acknowledged the significance of the Asia-Pacific region when the Department of Defense announced the 2012 defense strategic guidance for the 21st century in January.

U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) understands the importance of forward presence in the Pacific for fulfilling the President's new strategic guidance. The presence and posture of the U.S. Army in the Pacific sustains, improves and strengthens our military alliances and partnerships throughout the region. Consistent and reliable engagement through frequent exercises demonstrates the United States' intent to be a trusted partner across the human domain.

As America's largest theater Army and as the Army service component command (ASCC) for U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), USARPAC is expanding efforts to carry out its responsibilities in executing the defense strategic guidance and ensuring regional access. Global audiences factor decisively into USARPAC's initiatives that take a multilateral approach to security, cooperation, and growing partnerships and relationships.

Legacy of the U.S. Army in the Pacific

The U.S. Army has an enduring legacy in the Asia-Pacific region, fighting 63 campaigns there since 1899- more than any other geographical region outside the Americas. Today, U.S. Army Pacific projects the depth and sustainability to prevent conflicts first and foremost, promote the conditions necessary to maintain peace and stability, and prevail in conflicts when all other courses of action are exhausted in the Asia-Pacific region.

To contribute to this renewed Asia-Pacific focus expressed by President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the Army's Pacific theater strategy operationalizes four core tenets: persistent engagement, forward presence, trained and ready forces, and agile Mission Command. Working in concert, these four tenets enable USARPAC headquarters, with its major subordinate commands and theater-enabling commands, alongside other USPACOM components, to engage allies and partners in theater to prevent instability and set conditions to rapidly respond to a full spectrum of contingencies and, if necessary, win in combat.

Engaging the theater and working alongside partners is USARPAC's first line of effort to enable America's Army in the Pacific to work by, with or through allies and partners to deter aggression, build capacity and ensure U.S. Pacific Command access.

USARPAC is America's theater Army in the Asia-Pacific region, supporting the attainment of national strategic, theater strategic and operational objectives. USARPAC is designed and positioned to conduct operations indispensable in enhancing the joint force's ability to gain and maintain access to areas throughout the region that would otherwise be denied. USARPAC's long-standing relationships and engagements in theater, coupled with its forward presence of trained and ready forces, combine to provide our Pacific allies and partners a reliable and capable security partner. The level of interoperability and cooperation achieved through these Army-to-Army relationships is unparalleled among the U.S. military services in the Asia-Pacific theater.

Sharpening Our Edge While Projecting Presence

A major element of USARPAC's engagement effort is to ensure our Army uses training opportunities that are the hallmark of the Asia-Pacific theater. As our forces return from Afghanistan, USARPAC's exercise and engagement program will offer the U.S. Army regional alternatives that complement home station and combat training center rotations as the third essential component of the theater training strategy triad. These high-fidelity training evolutions in theater will serve the dual purpose of maintaining the Army's combat edge and enhancing our Army's presence in theater by training in the theater.

USARPAC's partner armies offer realistic training in almost every climate, terrain and environment necessary to maintain unified land operations readiness, whether it be bilateral or multilateral field training exercises, or getting soldiers to partner-nation schools that hone skills in high-altitude mountain, desert and jungle warfare. …

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