Army takes on a naval tinge as it adapts to the Pacific
Undersecretary cites several aspects of the service’s efforts to develop “linchpin” capabilities for the joint force.
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii—The U.S. Army is looking just a bit more naval as it adjusts to the Pacific region, adopting missiles long wielded by its sister service and even developing new cargo vessels.
It’s all part of a “multi-year effort” to develop the capabilities the Army will need to provide for the joint force, said Gabe Camarillo, who is making his first visit to the region since becoming Army undersecretary in February 2022. “Our role is the linchpin of the Joint Force.”
Among those capabilities: air- and missile-defense systems, as well as offensive mid- and long-range fires. The Army can bring SM-6 and Tomahawk missiles—weapons long associated with the Navy—to bear on “maritime targets” that threaten U.S. or partners’ bases, Camarillo said.
The service is also trying to figure out how to keep supplies moving around a vast Pacific theater in wartime. Prepositioned stocks and interior lines are “going to be really critical for us,” Camarillo said. “So part of that is ensuring that we have not only the prepositioned capabilities here in the area, but also the ability to move them around within the theater. And that’s one of the things the Army is going to be called upon to do. That’s why we’re investing, for example, in Army watercraft.”
He said production has begun on the Maneuver Support Vessel (Light), a 117-foot, 82-ton vessel first floated last year, and the service is finalizing the requirements for a larger Maneuver Support Vessel (Heavy). These will add to the Army’s existing fleet.
Meanwhile, a year-old Army organization is working on contested logistics—“everything from autonomous resupply, which is one of the areas they’re looking at, to command and control of logistics and how we can do that in a very sophisticated way,” he said.
Camarillo will tour the Army’s Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center on Oahu before visiting Guam and Japan on his tour of the Pacific.