Defense

October 15, 2012

U.S., China to consider sharing resources during joint missions

In what U.S. Pacific Command’s logistics chief calls a groundbreaking development, officials from the United States and China plan to meet to discuss sharing logistical resources, including fuel, as they operate together during counterpiracy and humanitarian assistance and disaster response missions.

The United States has officially extended the invitation for a team of senior Chinese logisticians to visit Washington in early 2013 to discuss the possibility of a first-ever logistics cooperation agreement between the two countries, Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark M. McLeod told American Forces Press Service.

If adopted, the arrangement would enable the United States and China to share fuel, food, supplies, and even vessel parts to support their joint operations, he said.

Pacom officials pitched the idea last month during the 41st Pacific Area Senior Officer Logistics Seminar in Perth, Australia.

The forum of senior logistics and national security officers from Pacific, Asian and Indian Ocean area nations meets annually to exchange information, pursue bilateral and multilateral initiatives and encourage closer regional cooperation. This year, PASOLS participants focused on ways to promote multinational and multiagency logistics collaboration.

Navy Rear Adm. Yang Jianyong, who led the Chinese delegation at this year’s seminar, called the U.S. proposal “a good area for future discussion [and] cooperation,” McLeod reported.

Such an arrangement was floated in the past, but didn’t get traction because of strained U.S.-Chinese relations.

But the timing could now be right, McLeod said, as both countries begin looking for ways to strengthen their military-to-military relationship. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Pacom commander Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III recently visited China to promote closer cooperation and collaboration.

Logistics cooperation with China provides a perfect forum for that relationship-building, McLeod said, particularly as China assumes a growing global role. For example, in addition to counterpiracy operations, China periodically deploys its naval hospital ship, the Peace Ark, to provide medical services in other nations.

“As they go from an internal defense-focused military and begin to push off their shores and take on more regional security roles, they are finding that their logistics chains are kind of strained,” McLeod said.

PASOLS, and a potential logistics agreement with the United States, offer China an opportunity to learn from the experience of the regional partners it now operates with, he said.

“Based on them reaching out and starting to perform some of these more joint missions that other nations are doing,” he said, “we thought this was an opportunity for us to enter into an agreement with them to share resources.”

McLeod called the potential agreement a great foundation for other military-to-military cooperation that supports both the United States’ and China’s national security strategies.

“Obviously, both militaries are interested in regional security. Both militaries are interested in freedom of passage through areas. There are a lot of things going where we share common interests,” he said.

“But this is the first time, at least from a logistics standpoint, that we have reached out and they have been very receptive to those ideas,” McLeod said. “That is pretty groundbreaking for us.”

McLeod called these developments important building blocks toward closer logistics collaboration that enables regional nations to partner together and respond more effectively to natural disasters and other contingencies.

Responses to regional natural disasters and other contingencies will be far better, he said, if the nations understand how each other’s operations, share basic principles and learn from each other’s experiences. “There are things that each of us can bring to the fight that ultimately helps all of us provide support,” he said.

McLeod said he will share the lessons from PASOLS with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other regional organizations. “What we are trying to do is operationalize what we do in the theater by branching out to some of these other large organizations,” he said.

Ultimately, he hopes to promote sharing arrangements that enable more countries to participate in regional operations. “Many nations have difficulty when they reach beyond their logistics chains and have to go about gathering supplies and equipment,” he said.

Setting up an infrastructure so nations can share resources, water, even cybersecurity expertise could help eliminate that roadblock, he said.

But McLeod said he sees particular promise in operationalizing fuel across the theater. “That is an interest area that many, many nations have, from our high-end partners all the way down to our developing partners that are expanding their capabilities as they go forward,” he said.

“That helps you not only during operations, when transiting vessels or operating equipment in that [particular] nation, but it [also] can be important when there is a supply interruption because of a typhoon or some other natural disaster,” McLeod said. “In essence, you diversify your fuel capabilities so, no matter where you go, you have that capacity.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 22, 2014

News: Northrop challenges 3DELRR contract award - Northrop Grumman has formally issued a protest against the US Air Force’s decision to award its next-generation ground based radar to competitor Raytheon.   Business: Defense firms prefer GOP, but spread campaign cash between political parties - For every campaign contribution from a major arms manufacturer to a Republican candidate...
 
 

News Briefs October 22, 2014

Military converges on scene of Kansas jet crash Military personnel are investigating at the site in southeast Kansas where an Oklahoma Air National Guard fighter jet crashed after a midair collision with another one during a training exercise. The F-16 crashed Oct. 20 in a pasture about three miles northeast of Moline, an Elk County...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Upgrades ‘new normal’ for armor in uncertain budget environment

Courtesy photograph The current Paladin is severely under-powered and overweight so its speed of cross-country mobility is pretty restricted. The Paladin Integrated Management program is designed to address a number of these we...
 

 

ISR: A critical capability for 21st century warfare

The progressive adaptations and breakthroughs made in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance arena have changed the way wars are fought, and the way commanders think about the battlespace. “Whether we have airmen exploiting full motion video data or serving downrange in the (Central Command) area of responsibility, these individuals make up an enterprise of 30,000...
 
 

Lockheed Martin teams with Roketsan of Turkey on new standoff missile for F-35

Roketsan and Lockheed Martin signed a teaming agreement Oct. 22 for collaboration on the SOM-J, a new generation air-to-surface Standoff Cruise Missile for the F-35 Lightning II. The SOM system is an autonomous, long-range, low-observable, all-weather, precision air-to-surface cruise missile. The SOM-J variant is tailored for internal carriage on the F-35 aircraft. The companies will...
 
 

Army Operating Concept expands definition of combined arms

The Army Operating Concept, published Oct. 7, expands the idea of joint combined-arms operations to include intergovernmental and special operations capabilities, said Gen. Herbert R. McMaster Jr. The new concept includes prevention and shaping operations at the strategic level across domains that include maritime, air, space and cyberspace, he said. It’s a “shift in emphasis,”...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>