BLUF

The US believes China can launch a missile attack against US bases on Guam; to counter this threat, the US plans to operate fighters from remote pacific airfields.

Summary

China now possesses the missile capability to attack US Pacific Command (PACOM) bases on Guam; see PACOM Chief Warns Of Threat To Guam. To counter the threat of missile attack on PACOM bases, the US is adopting a strategy termed Agile Combat Employment (ACE). This strategy pairs major bases with remote airfields. These remote bases are staffed with specially trained airmen with multiple skills, prepositioned equipment, and airlift capability to facilitate operations if required. In terms of air power, ACE expands the number of bases from which the USAF can generate combat sorties and provides commanders with viable options for power projection across the Pacific. Further, the use of remote airfields complicates the enemy's targeting. Australia already operates remote airfields called bare bases, SchergerLearmonth and Curtin, as part of its defence strategy. Think about PACOM's ACE and the relevance of Australia's experience in operating bare bases, and how that experience might enhance the delivery of capability for both the USA and Australia.