Air Force studying new, tougher bases to fight in the Pacific

Air Force studying new, tougher bases to fight in the Pacific
  • The vast distances of the Pacific region and the growing range of the Chinese military led the United States to look for ways to disband its forces and bases.
  • For the U.S. Air Force, it refers to the region’s search for runways and facilities to support its aircraft.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The possibility of war with China, which has a rapidly modernizing army Can reach distances across the Pacific, US military spreads.

According to General Kenneth Wilsbach, commander of the Pacific Air Force, the U.S. Air Force is looking for territory to operate new locations, but to create new bases that will work alongside those there.

“What we’re doing is taking advantage of existing airports,” Wilsbach told reporters last week. “If you’re going to put up [in] An F-22 or F-15 or C-130, the airport must have certain criteria, so we have actually inspected every concrete in the Pacific and Indo-Pacific regions … our criteria for whether they meet. “

Air Force Brass developed plans for the travel platform in the 1990s, and the strategy is receiving renewed attention.

Air Force Alaska F-15 active combat employment

U.S. Air Force personnel at Katena Air Base in Japan prepare the F-15 for departure on August 8, 2019, during an active combat internship at Fort Grayley, Alaska.

Isaac Johnson, US Air Force / Senior Pilot


“We actually started working with this diligence four to five years ago,” Willsbach said. “I was a commander in Alaska at the time … we first started getting this in Alaska, and then it expanded across the Indo-Pacific.”

2018 National Security Strategy Quoted Russia and China are the main strategic rivals of the United States – the latter “pursuing a military modernization program that anticipates Indo-Pacific regional dominance over time and displacement near the United States … in the future.”

The conflicts described in that document “do not have stable bases, infrastructure and established command and control”, which means that the Air Force needs to return to its “travel roots”, i.e. General David Goldfine, a senior Air Force officer. One said in 2018 Speech.

That ambition is reflected in the active combat employment, in which planes coming from major bases or hubs run from difficult locations or speakers, refuel in a relatively short period of time, and restart without an established support network.

“The prototype behind the ACE is a few … Instead of having really big bases, we’re dissipating forces, we’re more agile and more mobile,” Wilsbach said, referring to an adversary who allows aircraft and aircraft. Come up with things that seem random.

Marine Corps Japan Active War Employment

U.S. Marine Corps Lance CBL. Nova Guletz tests JP8 fuel on February 20, 2020 during an active combat internship at the Marine Corps Air Station Fudenma in Japan.

U.S. Air Force / Staff David Ovsianka


The ACE has been around for some time, and there is now an ACE component to the “almost every exercise” command, Willsbach said. When Valiant Shield In September, the pilots increased it with additional duties.

“We’re going F-22s, we call it Basic X, so there’s not even one of the hub sites … [to] Refuel, they trained what we call many talented pilots, “Willsbach said.” You can send a small group to one of the out-of-bases, instead the plane they make is refueling an airplane and we asked them to learn many skills. “

If more work can be done, fewer people will be needed in the speakers, but being flexible also means making it harder, Wilsbach said.

“When I was in Alaska, we did this, in fact, in a foothills, where everyone was camping,” eating store-bought tents and MREs next to the runway, Willsbach said. “We operated from that empty site for two weeks.”

‘Lots of competition’

Air Force Guam Active War Employment

U.S. and allied personnel during an active combat internship at the Anderson Air Force Base in Guam on March 6, 2019.

US Air Force / Primary Charge. J. D. May III


Willsbach did not elaborate on plans for those centers and spokes or where they might be, but the Air Force and other service branches Training to function Across Vast areas of the Pacific.

There are territories in the United States such as Guam, which has a large air base, and the Northern Mariana Islands, but some countries there are also interested in playing host.

Outgoing President of Palau Encouraged the U.S. military again and again To expand facilities there. Wilsbach a “The desire to increase options“In Palau where there are airports Well located But the expansion will take “a little more work”.

Palau has free association agreements with the United States, including Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, under which their citizens receive benefits in the United States, and the U.S. military enjoys great rights to operate in their territory.

Air Force Guam C-130 active combat employment

Pilots unload the C-130 at the Anderson Air Force Base during an active combat internship on March 6, 2019.

US Air Force / Primary Charge. J. D. May III


The Pacific Air Force operates in the Indo-Pacific region “for operational, training and fitness purposes” and “as usual” trains, as well as “regular” trains in and around the northern Mariana Islands, the federal states of Micronesia and the Public Affairs Officer told the Palau Command Insider.

According to Derek Grossman, senior security analyst at the Rand Corporation Think Tank, interest in the region is growing because of its proximity to such a hub and spoken model and its facility and the Pacific.

“In the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait – you can express power in war-prone theaters, and as China develops its ballistic and naval missiles and other capabilities for long-range attacks, you can,” Grossman told Insider in an October interview.

It did not lose China, which loved the countries there Pursue its own military and diplomatic goals.

“That’s why there’s been a lot of competition recently between the United States and China in this area,” Grossman said.

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About the Author: Will Smith

Alfred Lee covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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