June, 22

Pacific Air Forces weather branch hosts multilateral weather talks

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Air Force weather officers from the U.S., Japan, South Korea and Germany gathered at the Tradewinds Conference Center to discuss key lines of effort across the Indo-Pacific at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, April 9–11.

Moreover, the U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force signed a Terms of Reference agreement, solidifying weather interoperability relationships between allied nations. The TOR agreement showcases the collaboration of multidomain weather forecasting between partner nations while directly impacting the National Security Strategy objectives in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Weather influences operations and behavior; it drives decisions,” said Col. Patrick C. Williams, Headquarters Air Force A3W director of weather. “Exploiting this knowledge will determine best windows of opportunity and locations to take decisive action or continue a deterrence posture.”

By strategically planning and executing actions based on this knowledge, individuals and organizations can effectively respond to and prevent potential threats.

“We believe that this will send a message to the international community towards ensuring peace and stability in the region,” said JASDF Col. Hiroko Konno, Air Weather Group Director of Weather. “We also expect that it will contribute to better decision-making by each commander, which leads to stronger joint response capability.”

Konno explained that Japan is a key region in the Northwest Pacific and weather partnership forecasting benefits both long-term strategic planning and short-term tactical operations for force management in the face of ever-evolving weather patterns and near-peer threats.

“Through our allies and partners, we can exploit environmental information to our advantage,” Williams said. “Specifically, we can use that information in deliberate planning and targeting processes and create dilemmas for the adversary while optimizing freedom of action and maneuver for friendly forces.”

This collective effort will help emphasize the importance of upholding international community standards and support the overall stability and security of the region.

“It will capitalize and reinforce like-mindedness and common purpose to maintain rules-based order in the world,” Williams said.” The united front against our National Defense Strategy adversaries is the superpower that will allow us to deter those adversaries and maintain our way of life.”

The TOR agreement not only showcases current multidomain weather forecasting collaboration taking place among nations across the globe, but also provides an opportunity for future data sharing agreements to advance interoperability with Allies and partners, directly enhancing military readiness and response capabilities across the Indo-Pacific.

“The most immediate benefit is interoperability, building partnership capacity and trust to leverage shared capabilities to maximize agility and responsiveness,” Williams said.

Overall, weather impacts the battlefields scheme of maneuver in multiple domains, which drives it to the forefront as a key decision-making tool for senior leaders the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility.

“Weather capabilities offer so much more than a 5-day forecast, convincing senior leaders that, if used differently, weather capabilities can change the course of any action to our advantage,” Williams said. “We can predict weather events and provide a reasonable prediction on adversary reactions to it. Ultimately, weather capabilities provide commanders with more agility and flexibility to become more effective against near-peer competitors.”

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