Military News

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pacific Angel 15-2 underway in Timor-Leste



By Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces / Published September 10, 2015

BAUCAU, Timor-Leste (AFNS) -- Members of the U.S. Air Force and Navy, Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL), and New Zealand army began humanitarian assistance operations as part of Pacific Angel 15-2 Sept. 7.

During the joint humanitarian and civic-military exercise, the PACANGEL team — made up of military doctors, dentists, carpenters, plumbers and planners — work together in partnership with local nongovernmental organizations to provide humanitarian assistance to the residents of Baucau, a coastal town located east of Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste.

“Pacific Angel is one of (Pacific Air Force’s) premier engagement events and allows us to come out with our host nation partners in preparation for potential humanitarian and disaster relief efforts,” said Lt. Col. Edward Khim, the PACANGEL 15-2 commander. “The focus of this mission is to reach out to our partner nations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and develop the skills, techniques and procedures of all participants. There are a lot of good things and valuable lessons that will come out of this mission and we look forward to working with our Timor-Leste and New Zealand team members.”

Timorese, U.S. and New Zealand military personnel kicked off the exercise by conducting civil engineering projects and opening a health services outreach clinic in a local town gymnasium. The clinic included physical therapy, optometry, dental and family medicine sections, as well as a small pharmacy.

With the help of volunteer interpreters, doctors and medical technicians, the teams will provide acute care and educate patients on preventative health measures for various ailments.

The medical teams expect to see and treat about 500 patients a day, with a focus on quality of care over quantity, said Lt. Col. Paul Conroy, the PACANGEL 15-2 lead public health planner.

“Our goal is not to see as many patients as we can and rush through treatment,” Conroy said. “Instead, we’re taking the time so that our provider teams can sit down side by side and take the time to learn from each other.”

The operation is also a great chance for Airmen to learn from the host nation providers about tropical diseases and local procedures, Conroy continued.

“Our Airmen get to come out and see what it’s like to do our job in what we would consider an austere environment, using basic equipment in basic accommodations,” he said. “Our professionals work hand in hand with physicians from the F-FDTL and the Timorese Ministry of Health. It is an experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else. In PACAF we’re frequently called to assist in disaster relief missions, and PACANGEL prepares our Airmen better than anything else we could do.”

During the engineering portion, a multinational military team of electricians, structural craftsmen, carpenters and plumbers will work together to repair and replace doors, locks, windows, wiring, ceilings, faucets, toilets and air conditioning units to revitalize a public health classroom annex of the Timor-Leste University of Peace.

During the eighth iteration of PACANGEL, the teams will be training in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief through Sept. 11.

Khim said the value of the exchanges in public health and engineering encourages partner countries to build relationships, which ultimately serve to preserve peace and stability in the region.

“Short of an actual humanitarian assistance mission, this is the next best training opportunity for our Airmen,” he said. “This is where the rubber meets the road and we’re doing our real-world mission, showing the community what the U.S. and our allies can contribute during a real emergency situation.”

Since 2007, PACANGEL missions have improved the lives of tens of thousands of people and help local government and international aid agencies respond more quickly to emergencies. It enables them to assume control of recovery efforts in their wake by enabling them to more efficiently use equipment, training and connections they already have to provide medical and engineering assistance to local citizens in need.

CSAF sees cyber, ISR as future major command



 25th Air Force / Published September 10, 2015

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and his wife, Betty, visited the 24th and 25th Air Forces Aug. 25-27 to gain a firsthand look at the mission synergy of cyber, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

During an all call that included members from both numbered Air Forces and the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, Welsh emphasized the future of cyber and ISR.

"In about 10 to 12 years, I think we should have a major command focused on information,” he said. “It should be about collecting it, processing it and disseminating it. With 24th and 25th Air Force, we've just stood up the first two building blocks."

He continued that the number of people and organizations in the cyber and ISR mission areas will continue to expand.

"It's an institution we have to build, we have to fund, we have to develop and we have to be thinking about long term," Welsh said. "Cyber and ISR are the two biggest growth areas in our Air Force and they'll continue to be the biggest growth areas in the joint force for years. What you do is critically important every day to everything the United States military does. You know that; you should know that everybody else knows it too."

To reinforce the importance placed on ISR, specifically, Welsh highlighted the approximately 35,000 people who now support the ISR enterprise.

"It's the people, the skills, the sensors, the architecture; it's everything that collects, moves, processes, analyzes, and shares data and information," he said. "It's fantastic and how far you've come is just remarkable. Keep charging. We've got a long way to go."

Work Calls for Third Offset Strategy to Bolster Future of Warfighting



By Terri Moon Cronk DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, September 10, 2015 — In a changing global security environment, the United States is pursuing a third offset strategy to bolster a weakened conventional deterrence, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said today in London.

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute -- the U.K.’s professional forum for national and international defense and security -- the deputy said in prepared remarks that the first and second offset strategies supported DoD well for 25 years, but the “margin of technological superiority,” particularly for guided munitions, is eroding.

“This erosion results primarily from two factors,” the deputy said. “First, potential competitors are pursuing levels of advanced weapons development that we haven’t seen since the mid-1980s. Second, our attention has been rightly focused on the Middle East for the past 14 years, and post-war budget cuts have limited our own technical investments.”

Citing worldwide threats, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Russia’s recent coercion and aggression, Work noted the United States and its allies face historically different challenges than before.

Deputy Praises U.S.-U.K. partnership

The deputy said the nation counts on its longstanding relationship with the United Kingdom, and he praised that nation’s leaders.

“We are greatly heartened by the U.K.’s recent decision to continue meeting the NATO defense investment pledge to dedicate 2 percent of [gross domestic product] to defense spending -- making them one of only four NATO countries that now do so,” he said. That commitment sends a clear signal that the U.K. is determined to continue its contribution to collective defense and maintain a global leadership role, he added.

Work said even with the actions of both nations against global threats, more work is needed, particularly given Russia’s declaration that it regards the U.S. and NATO as a direct threat. That is why, as Defense Secretary Ash Carter said, DoD is working with its allies to develop a “new playbook” for NATO to strengthen U.S. conventional deterrence, he noted.

Preparing to Fight on Modern Battlefield

“We … haven’t focused on a highly-capable adversary for a long time and I worry that our proficiency in highly integrated joint fire and maneuver has eroded,” he said. “We must prepare to fight on an incredibly lethal modern battlefield.”

Once the U.S. military shifts to maneuver, it will fight on highly lethal battlefields swept by short-range guided munitions, cyberattacks and electronic warfare weapons, the deputy said.

“What we need is another doctrinal revival like that of the early 1980s. My message to U.S. Army and Air Force audiences is that we need an AirLand Battle 2.0. My message to every NATO country is we need modern concepts as game-changing as Follow-on Forces Attack,” he said.

AirLand Battle was the overall conceptual framework that formed the basis of the US Army's European warfighting doctrine from 1982 into the late 1990s. The Follow on Forces Attack sub-concept aimed to compensate for the short distance between Frankfurt, Germany, and Soviet territory by relying on conventional weapons to attack troops behind the main line of contact -- by attacking follow-on troops, in other words.

Private Sector Integral to Third Strategy

Unlike the first two offset strategies, which depended on military development, the third would rely on commercially driven technology such as robotics, autonomously operating vehicles, guidance and control systems, visualization, biotechnology, miniaturization, advanced computing, big data analytics and additive manufacturing.

A lesson learned from the second offset strategy was the importance of NATO participation, Work said.

He added that innovation must be pursued with interoperability in mind. “We must coordinate and collaborate, avoid duplication, leverage unique capabilities, and push our establishments to innovate in technology, concepts, experimentation and war games,” he said.

“War games are a powerful tool to test new ideas, capabilities and new ways of fighting. [The U.S. and U.K.] militaries are operating together, researching together, and gaming together to ensure our alliance retains unparalleled military capabilities,” Work said.

The U.K.’s Strategic Defense and Security Review is developing at a time that gives both nations an opportunity to think together about where they are both going and how to best cooperate, the deputy secretary noted.

Vowing to continue working closely with the U.K. in such efforts, Work noted that both nation’s militaries have long histories of adapting to changing threats and identifying new approaches that “pit our enduring strengths against the vulnerabilities of our adversaries,” by their ability to operate as partners.