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NEWS | May 16, 2024

Joint Force Integration, Coalition Partnerships Key to US Success in Indo-Pacific

By Spc. Taylor Gray U.S. Army Pacific

A misconception in the Indo-Pacific is that the Army has no role in a theater named for two oceans. In fact, the Army's Indo-Pacific operation streamers outnumber those for all other operations outside of North America combined, showcasing the depth and scale of the Army's efforts to project and sustain power in the Indo-Pacific region. Landpower in the Pacific Symposium (LANPAC), an annual international meeting hosted in Honolulu, HI by the Association of the U.S. Army, highlighted the necessity of joint force integration.

Experts from across the region spoke about modern warfare and the role of partners and allies in enhancing joint force capabilities, including the vital role armies in the region play.

"The Army provides the muscle for endurance and staying power," Said Marcia B. Holmes, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Mission Capabilities, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

The panelists throughout the conference agreed modern warfare requires a holistic approach that moves beyond conventional service limits. They emphasized the importance of attaining interoperability and coordination across land, sea, air, space, and cyber domains.

“Joint Force interdependencies are vital, requiring collaboration at every echelon,” said Lt. Gen. Xavier Brunson, commanding general, I Corps.

He also spoke about the transformation of warfare, emphasizing new threats and technological advancements, such as drones and cyber warfare. Due to this transformation, flexible strategies and cooperative decision-making is a necessity to address challenges like contested logistics and rapid technological progress.

Continuing on this theme, Adm. Steve T. Koehler, commanding officer of the United States Pacific Fleet, delivered a keynote speech on combined forces and multi-domain operations. He echoed Brunson's sentiments, highlighting the critical importance of teamwork between allies and partners in navigating the challenges of the Indo-Pacific region.

“This year, we look forward to Super Garuda Shield, Ulchi Freedom Shield and JPMRC among other major commitments,” said Koehler. “That's deterrence in the region, working together with you all multi-domain, multi-service and ensuring your posture for returns.”

Koehler commended the efforts of allied nations and partner forces in supporting these endeavors, emphasizing the importance of interoperability and collaboration.

“Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific is a team effort, and I’m looking at the team,” Koehler said.