South & Central Pacific
New Zealand, Fiji, Society Islands, Line Islands, Hawaii
And still the updates keep coming...
New Zealand and Fiji are in a sort of limbo at the moment. New Zealand is potentially a very important secure rear area in the event of a Japanese drive towards either Fiji or New Caledonia. She's got a decent (although not huge) shipyard and plenty of malaria free bases for the troops. But for now NZ has been reduced to a staging post for forces heading towards Australia or New Caledonia. The RNZAF, like the RAAF, has been heavily involved in intensive training since December, however the focus for the Kiwis has been training for maritime missions. The current thinking behind this is to use the Kiwi Hudsons for ASW patrols around Allied bases in the NZ/NC/Fiji triangle. USN aircraft will take the burden of naval attack with USAAF and USMC forces supporting ground operations.
Fiji is even more in limbo, there are some Allied forces based here but they are slowly being shifted to NZ for refit and reinforcement before moving to New Caledonia. It's a risk, but I feel that NC can be more easily defended than Fiji.
With the KB and at least one CVL operating away in the DEI the build up of Tahiti has been nicely uninterrupted, the base has been expanded sufficiently for the port to be able to unload some mid-sized ships. The airfield can support medium bombers, or at a push heavy bombers, but is currently only home to the 67th PS and their Airacobras. Ground defence is in the hands of the 2nd Marines Rgt and a pair of armoured bns.
Rangiroa is undergoing a similar expansion, in order to provide some cover to Tahiti should the worst happen. This is not a priority plan at the moment.
The Line Islands are in a similar situation, they're sufficiently built up to be able to resist anything up to a major assault. But for now their use is limited, not much is happening here and most convoys are routed well to the east in order to stay clear of any prowling subs. FoB Dalmatian may, or may not, provide a launch platform for an attack on the Gilberts. A more likely use would be as a staging point for a carrier raid on Japanese possessions in the region. But until then it's a sleepy hollow.
Pearl Harbor is buzzing with activity, but as usual it's a lot of training for US air units. A few squadrons are reaching proficiency in a skill, the units already deemed competent have been shipped to the SOPAC area already. Several cruisers are based here, whilst I wait to think of a job for them! Meanwhile the small ships are busy trying to sweep some Jap subs from the sea.