News: Asia-Pacific Army chiefs participate in regional cooperation conferences
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Bell
SINGAPORE - The Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference VII and Pacific Armies Management Seminar XXXV opened July 27 and will run through Aug. 1 in Singapore.
Co-hosted this year by the Singapore armed forces and the U.S. Army, PACC is a biennial, multinational, executive defense forum for Asia Pacific's regional ground force leaders, and PAMS is an annual multinational military seminar organized by U.S. Army Pacific that provides a forum for senior-level officers to exchange views and ideas.
More than 25 countries sent representatives to PACC VII/ PAMS XXXV this year, including China and Laos. Army chiefs will hold bilateral and multilateral meetings while PAMS’ participants will take part in discussions based on the main theme for both conferences, “Building land forces capacity through multilateral security cooperation.”
Main topics include 21st century security challenges and cooperation, capabilities Asia-Pacific land forces need to have to meet these challenges and how Asia-Pacific land forces train and develop to deter security threats.
China and the Philippines will co-host a discussion during PAMS about how Asia-Pacific land forces will develop the capacity to conduct multilateral security operations. Leaders will participate in an exercise to apply techniques they learn.
“The hard reality is that the security landscape today is marked by security threats which are increasingly trans-national and complex, too large for any single country, no matter how large and equipped, to shoulder the burden,” said Dr. Ng Eng Hen, Singapore Minister of Defense and keynote speaker during the PACC opening ceremony. “These two events represent more than a merely a meeting of minds, they are an important facet in our regional security architecture.”
U.S. Army Pacific Commander Lt. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski highlighted eight areas the U.S. Army believes will challenge global security.
They are the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons; regional war among nation states; civil war and failed states; international terrorism; global recession as well as poverty; international crime and drug cartels; humanitarian crises, refugees; and threats in the cyber domain.
“These eight challenges will require collaboration and a different approach to the development of versatile, adaptable and culturally astute leaders and organizations,” said Wiercinski. “These leaders must be developed from their earliest years with a deep understanding and commitment to a spirit of cooperation and partnership between our nations and military forces.”
“The better we know each other and the better we communicate, the safer our region will be,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Terry, commander, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Pacific, during the PAMS opening ceremony.
“Multilateral cooperation in forums such as this is vital to reduce mistrust and suspicion. By coming together and learning about each others capabilities, we also increase our combined ability to respond to a wide range of contingencies affecting us all,” said Terry.