As the US Army deploys more troops to the Pacific, it’s running into the limits of its long-range communications systems. The shortfall in comms capacity is not only becoming an issue as the service ramps up its “Pacific Pathways” exercises with Asian partners: It is also raisibng concerns about the network’s resiliency against a cyber attack.
“One of the biggest issues we’re working on is the net[work] architecture,” said Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza. As commander of Washington State-based I Corps, Lanza routinely deploys forces to East Asia — and he has keep in touch with them across the vast Pacific. “One of the challenges that we have is, when you get forward of the international date line, how [do] you work communications?”
There’s a lot more demand on the network because there are a lot more forces available to deploy to places like Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, andAustralia. After years of I Corps being tapped out supporting deployments in the Middle East, Lanza told reporters at the Pentagon, “all our forces right now are in the Pacific [theater]. I just had my aviation brigade come back from Afghanistan, I just had our fires [i.e. artillery] brigade come back from Iraq.”