Pacific Pathways ‘unsustainable’ with current funding sources, GAO says

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Soldiers from the 325th Brigade Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division load cargo and military vehicles aboard the CW3 Harold A. Clinger, Aug. 10, 2016, at Ford Island, Hawaii, in preparation for Pacific Pathways drills. Pathways has roughly doubled the Army's costs of individual exercises that constitute the initiative that deploys battalion-size task forces into the region for 90-day stints, said a Government Accountability Office report released Monday, Nov. 14, 2016.  Jaime Ruiz/U.S. Army photo
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Soldiers from the 325th Brigade Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division load cargo and military vehicles aboard the CW3 Harold A. Clinger, Aug. 10, 2016, at Ford Island, Hawaii, in preparation for Pacific Pathways drills. Pathways has roughly doubled the Army's costs of individual exercises that constitute the initiative that deploys battalion-size task forces into the region for 90-day stints, said a Government Accountability Office report released Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. Jaime Ruiz/U.S. Army photo

Pacific Pathways ‘unsustainable’ with current funding sources, GAO says

by: Wyatt Olson | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: November 16, 2016

U.S. Army Pacific is struggling to increase and maintain financing for its 3-year-old Pacific Pathways initiative, according to a federal report that called current funding sources “unsustainable.”

Pathways has roughly doubled the Army’s costs of individual exercises that constitute the initiative which deploys battalion-size task forces into the region for 90-day stints, said the Government Accountability Office report released Monday.

Pathways strings together existing bilateral exercises held in countries such as South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia.

U.S. Army Pacific officials told the GAO that since beginning in 2014, Pathways has built readiness at multiple command echelons, increased complexity of exercises for partner nations, supported the rebalance to the Pacific and allowed the Army to experiment with its capabilities.

The original pitch for Pathways included an element of cost savings in that soldiers and equipment would not need to be returned stateside after completing individual exercises. Instead, most soldiers and materiel would move on to the next exercise.

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