The Pacific Pivot

The Air Force’s capabilities need to focus on the “Pacific first,” based on the Obama Administration’s new defense strategic guidance, said Chief of Staff nominee Gen. Mark Welsh last week. The guidance means that the Air Force will have to start developing combat capabilities and tactics that are coordinated “to a greater degree” with the Navy than in the past “because of the battlespace that you would anticipate for events that would occur in the Pacific,” said Welsh during his July 19 confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. While the Air Force has long had a strong presence in South Korea, it needs to add similar capabilities to support activity throughout the Pacific, said Welsh. “I believe we’ve already started down the road of making that integration and training possible and practical,” he noted. (Welsh’s responses to advance questions)