Maj. Gen. Richard Coffman, director of the U.S. Army's next-generation combat vehicle cross-functional team, said the service must modernize its armored vehicles to address Chinese threats in the Pacific, Military.com reported Thursday.
Coffman told attendees at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that the U.S. needs to secure a “position of relative advantage” and deploy advanced armored vehicles and tanks to establish its position against China.
"The reason why you need the land component in [the Pacific] is because it's the only component that will be decisive," said Coffman. "If you want to take land, if you want to hold land, if you want to clear land, you need the ground element."
The team intends to deploy lightweight vehicles capable of protecting personnel in the field, he noted. The U.S. Marine Corps has begun transitioning out of M1A1 Abrams battle tanks as it prepares to conduct missions in the Pacific, according to the publication.