Editors Notes: To wage global warfare, military operations require secured supply routes and military equipment caches. Related: Army’s Plans to Relocate Gear Offer Map to Future Conflicts
The United States military is planning to set up a storage depot in the Philippines for their equipment and logistics from Afghanistan to support future disaster response or other contingency in the Asia-Pacific region, the US military press service said.
Aside from the Philippines, the leadership of the US Pacific Command (USPACOM) is also considering storage facilities in Singapore, according to the report published by the US Department of Defence.
The US is drawing down forces in Afghanistan in preparation for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghan bases.
“As opposed to bringing it (logistics and materiel) home, putting it in central storage facilities, it might make more sense, when we do calculus, to forward move to a place we could get access at very low-cost storage facilities,” said Brig Gen Mark McLeod, USPACOM director for logistics, engineering and security.
He cited several locations, such as Singapore and the Philippines, that have low-cost warehouse space and good airfield and port access.
He said even nations that are not comfortable with US military presence in the region tend to be open to accepting pre-positioned equipment and supplies, typically tucked away in shipping containers and storage facilities, to support a humanitarian response.
“We want to posture them somewhere in the theatre that would allow us to react very quickly. We are looking for the opportunities to place those assets out there that will help us address the tyranny of distance,” McLeod added.
He said that materials to be disassembled from expeditionary camps in the US Central Command area of operations – tents, blankets and generators, among them – could be vital in a humanitarian crisis.
Although no part of the world is immune to natural disasters, none experiences them in the number or severity as the Asia-Pacific Region, McLeod said.
Located on the earthquake-prone “ring of fire,” the region also suffers from cyclones, tsunamis, flooding, wildfires and volcanic eruptions, he noted.
“A preponderance of natural disasters happen in this theatre, so the question is raised: How do you get enough assets out here to support all the things that happen?” McLeod said.
USPACOM commander Adm Samuel Locklear III said that he would seek more arrangements that put forces closer to where they might be needed in the event of a natural disaster or other crisis.
The US plan to preposition equipment and logistics to include those being used for humanitarian operations in the Philippines and Singapore came after the US Marines has started a six-month rotational deployment in Australia.
The Philippine star