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