Pacific Air Forces Commander emphasizes Airmen primed to compete, fight and win in the Indo-Pacific

  • Published
  • Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

During a senior-leader panel at the Air and Space Forces Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference Sept. 13, Gen. Ken Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander, spoke on the multiple capabilities Airmen leverage to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“The objective hasn’t changed for the United States in the Indo-Pacific, and that is a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said to an audience of approximately 2,000 people.

“Our Allies and partners…they share the same objective with us,” Wilsbach explained. “In the last year, we are having more success with joint operations and with our Allies and partners, becoming interoperable and, with some, even interchangeable.”

The PACAF Strategy 2030 released at the AFA Conference earlier this week sets the framework for success in three strategic priorities: defending the homeland, deterring aggression, and reinforcing Allies and partners. One major contribution to that success is the enhanced warfighting advantage granted through agile combat employment, or ACE.

“All members in PACAF are expected to execute ACE,” Wilsbach said. “Every single member is executing ACE and I expect every PACAF member to figure out what their multi-capable airman roles are because we’re going to need everyone.”

Wilsbach shared examples of ACE successes in the past year, highlighting Exercise Northern Edge as well construction efforts to fortify alternate airfields across the region.

Northern Edge 2023 gave Airmen the opportunity to practice ACE alongside the Joint Force and multinational Allies and partners in operations across dispersed locations simultaneously.

To bolster airpower capabilities in the Indo-Pacific, PACAF has mobilized to execute $1.3B funds across a prioritized list of horizontal and vertical construction projects and regional base cluster prepositioning kits. The projects will restore airfields to enable airpower projection from locations left dormant for decades.

When asked what his top priority is, Wilsbach asserted that America’s Airmen, along with members from other services and Allies, are the key to deterring adversaries and, if necessary, winning a high-end conflict.  

“We are going to win,” he said. ‘And one of the reasons we’re going to win is we know how to do joint and combined [operations] better than anybody.”

To view the full PACAF 2030 Strategy, click here.