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NEWS | May 16, 2024

Forward Posturing for a Safer Indo-Pacific

By Sgt. Jared Simmons U.S. Army Pacific

Delegations from across the Indo-Pacific discussed the importance of multi-lateral, multi-domain operations in the region from the perspective of each nation, May 14-16, 2024 at the 11th annual Land Forces Pacific Symposium and Exhibition (LANPAC).

The key objective of these operations for both the U.S. Army as well as their partners and allies is to prevent or deter conflict with aggressors in the region. Among the several topics covered by the speakers and panelists, that of Joint Interior Lines and staying power is one of the most impactful in the Pacific’s modern geopolitical landscape.

“Creating interior lines comprises many of the actions that build an enduring advantage,” said Gen. Charles Flynn, the U.S. Army Pacific Commanding General. “It’s about making sure that we’re forward positioned and that we have tactical defense in place so that we can provide strategic offense if needed.”

Joint Interior Lines improve the Theater Army’s positional advantage forward and increase the operational endurance of the joint force by providing staying power for the U.S. and its allies and partners.

Staying power means Pacific land forces, especially the U.S. Army, will have readily available, pre-staged assets they can use to provide command and control, protection, intelligence and sustainment for themselves and allies right away in the event of any future conflicts.

Interior lines are the best answer to combating what Lt. Gen. Simon Stuart, Australia’s Chief of Army calls the “tyranny of distance.”

“The distances and the scale are breathtaking,” Stuart said. “Positioning is really important, if you’re already there alongside partners and allies, it helps to defeat the tyranny of distance and helps us to improve tempo.”

This effort significantly aids the region’s effort to deter foreign adversaries and potential aggressors by eliminating the significant amount of time it takes for militaries to move the resources required for operations across the ocean.

In a panel on interior lines, Air Force General Michael A. Minihan, the Air Mobility Command Commander, spoke on interior lines as a form of deterrence.

“The readiness that delivers deterrence delivers decisive victory,” Minihan said. “I never doubt that decisive victory.”

To have an effective deterrence strategy, the U.S. and its allies need to have strength in the region, and to keep that strength they need to be prepared to sustain it for long periods of time. Interior lines provide both that strength and that sustainment.

As Flynn put it in remarks to leaders across the Pacific, there are four building blocks needed to, if necessary, fight and win as a combined joint force: organize, generate, apply and build. Joint Interior Lines allow the Strategic Land Power Network to build enduring advantages through posture in the region and allowing Army forces to control decisive points, gain positional advantage and secure staying power.

“The Strategic Landpower Network is all of us, and it benefits every one of us to achieve our common goals, our most important of which has not changed,” Flynn said. “No war. This is what we seek.”