Into temporary expeditionary forces
But there’s another element of the exercise that required even greater orchestration.
The logistics of getting personnel, equipment, munitions and supplies to a single bilateral exercise in the Pacific is a big job in itself. But Garuda Shield is just one of three legs in the Army’s inaugural Pacific Pathways concept, which included an exercise in Malaysia in September and will end with Orient Shield in Japan this month.
The intent of Pacific Pathways is to transition select Army Pacific units into temporary expeditionary forces moving from one planned exercise to another — and responding to any crisis or disaster in the region if needed.
“There’s many obstacles when you start talking Pathways,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Griffith, the logistician with the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii who planned the flow of materiel to Pacific Pathways, particularly Indonesia.
“The whole new Army alignment is mobility for different locations — all at the same time. So when we plan a strategic move like Pathways, we have to not only plan for the first stop, the first exercise, but we had to plan for multiple exercises and multiple stops before we come back to home station."
“It’s difficult to assess it sitting in an office in your home station and try to plan out everything for all the locations.”