Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | June 5, 2019

Pacific Pathways 2.0 to Bolster Presence in the Theater

By Sean Kimmons Army News Service

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- More Soldiers will be forward deployed longer in the Indo-Pacific region next year, as part of a new Pacific Pathways effort to allow units to build stronger partnerships and readiness.

Called Pacific Pathways 2.0, the program will place units in partner nations for up to six months at a time, much longer than the previous weeks-long exercises.

Soldiers recently tested the new strategy by staying four months in Thailand, Philippines and Palau.

Launched in 2014, Pathways is a U.S. Army Pacific-led initiative that has units conduct several stops in the region and train with foreign militaries during an expeditionary-style deployment.

The extended presence of units in the theater will provide the Indo-Pacific Command commander options for contingencies, such as humanitarian assistance or even conflict.

"What we were doing originally was just going to countries for exercise purposes," said Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky, commander of I Corps. "Pathways 2.0, starting next year, we're going to put U.S. forces in the Pacific for 10 months of the year."

In Pathways, units are using a hub-and-spoke approach during deployments to increase visibility in the region. Countries next year will include Thailand, Philippines and Australia.

"We're looking at three real hubs where we would go to the countries that have more capacity and then spoke off of those," Volesky said May 21 at the Land Forces Pacific Symposium, hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army.

The new construct also deploys a two-star command and control node in the hub nation, in which a commander can quickly plug into and assist in a contingency operation.

"It's not so much an exercise for the division headquarters as it is a mission," said Maj. Gen. Ronald Clark, commander of the 25th Infantry Division.

Based in the Philippines at the time, the node provided a redundant capability so Clark's headquarters could train in a division-level live fire exercise in Hawaii in April.

"We're able to do that while we're exercising Pathways," he said. "So, if something had happened in the Philippines or elsewhere, we could have unplugged and jumped right into that C2 node."

The I Corps' campaign plan for Pathways also includes area of operations specific to certain formations. For instance, the 25th ID is AO Lightning and 7th ID is AO Bayonet.

"We'll have habitual relationships with the same countries and the same series of exercises," Clark said.

The longer presence allows units to train in countries rarely engaged by the Army. About 200 Soldiers from I Corps, for example, trained in Palau in April for the first time in 37 years.

"As we start to build more visibility in the region for a longer term, I think that's going to help get after it," Volesky said.

While the region is mostly water, leaders said Pathways still plays a critical role in the region where seven of the 10 largest armies in the world are located.

About 106,000 Soldiers are assigned or allocated to USARPAC and each year the command conducts around 200 engagements with 34 countries.

"Although we consider this is a joint theater, the land component is absolutely important and paramount for our allies and partners," Clark said, adding the Army needs to remain engaged with them. "Make no mistake about it, relationships matter. Because it's too late to build relationships at the start of a crisis."

Like Us
Follow Us



70th Annual Operation Christmas Drop kicks off Dec. 6 in Guam
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 734th Air Mobility Squadron, 44th Aerial Port Squadron and the 374th Airlift Wing unload humanitarian supplies from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron, deployed from Yokota Air Base, Japan, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam in preparation for Operation Christmas Drop, Dec. 1, 2021. Over the course of 10 days, crews will airdrop donated food, supplies, educational materials, and tools to 55 islanders throughout the South-Eastern Pacific, including the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.
Dec. 2, 2021 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- U.S. and partner nation Airmen are set to participate in the Department of Defense’s longest running humanitarian assistance training mission out of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, beginning...

For Contingencies in Indo-Pacom, Army Will Serve as 'Linchpin' for Joint Force
U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 501st CBRNE CO (TE), 23rd CBRN BN, Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea, conducted slingload operations with a CH-47 Chinook during a training exercise at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex, Republic of Korea, March 25, 2021. 23rd CBRN BN conducted slingload operation training to certify service members on their abilities to aid in providing resources by air. .
Dec. 2, 2021 - WASHINGTON -- While the U.S. was involved for 20 years in the Middle East with conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the Chinese military studied how the U.S. military operates and also embarked on its own large-scale...

U.S. Army Chemical Company Keeps Combat Units in South Korea Ready to Fight Tonight
American Soldiers from 92nd Chemical Company integrated with Republic of Korea Army troops during a platoon static display and capabilities discussion.  The Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 92nd Chemical Company is supporting the Fort Bliss, Texas-based 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, as a part of a regular rotation of American combat forces to South Korea.
Dec. 2, 2021 - CAMP HOVEY, South Korea -- American Soldiers from the Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 92nd Chemical Company are helping to keep a rotational U.S. Army unit ready to fight and win on the Korean Peninsula.The company is deployed to...

RED HORSE Delivers Airlift Support Expansions to Yokota Air Base
Airmen from the 800th RED HORSE Group work fresh concrete into a new section of an aircraft parking spot, as part of an expansive flight line apron expansion project at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 10, 2021. Yokota’s flightline saw approximately 33,000 flights hit the pavement last year, and its role as an aircraft hub is being expanded to accommodate a greater contingency role in the Indo-Pacific region, investing $370 million in the past year to the effort.
Dec. 2, 2021 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The red baseball cap wearing 800th RED HORSE Group, or Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, have been seen at Yokota Air Base flightline construction sites...

U.S. Donates Nearly 200,000 Additional Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccines to Sri Lanka
U.S. donates nearly 200,000 additional Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to Sri Lanka
Dec. 2, 2021 - COLOMBO, U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka -- Nearly 200,000 additional Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses arrived in Sri Lanka today as a donation from the American people. This gift demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the United...