Asia-Pacific armies participate in regional cooperation conferences

| August 4, 2011 | 0 Comments
Maj. Gen. Ravinder Singh (left), chief of army, Singapore armed forces; Dr. Ng Eng Hen (at podium), Singapore Minister of Defense; and Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, USARPAC, officially open the PACC in Singapore, July 28. (Courtesy Photo)

Maj. Gen. Ravinder Singh (left), chief of army, Singapore armed forces; Dr. Ng Eng Hen (at podium), Singapore Minister of Defense; and Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, USARPAC, officially open the PACC in Singapore, July 28. (Courtesy Photo)

Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Bell
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs

SINGAPORE — More than 25 countries met, here, July 27-Monday, to discuss Pacific regional security architecture.

Co-hosted by the U.S. Army and the Singapore armed forces, representatives to this year’s Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference VII and the Pacific Armies Management Seminar XXXV included China and Laos.

PACC is a biennial, multinational, executive defense forum for Asia Pacific’s regional ground force leaders. PAMS is an annual, multinational, military seminar organized by U.S. Army-Pacific; it provides a forum for senior-level officers to exchange views and ideas.

“The hard reality is that the security landscape today is marked by security threats, which are increasingly transnational 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 merely a meeting of minds, they are an important facet in our regional security architecture.”

Army chiefs held bilateral and multilateral meetings, while PAMS participants discussed the main theme for both conferences, “Building Land Forces Capacity Through Multilateral Security Cooperation.”

Main topics included 21st-century security challenges and cooperation, the capabilities Asia-Pacific land forces need to meet these challenges, and how Asia-Pacific land forces train and develop to deter security threats.

“The better we know each other and the better we communicate, the safer our region will be,” said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry, commander, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, 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.”

During the conferences, Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, USARPAC, 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 and poverty; international crime and drug cartels; humanitarian crises and 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,” Wiercinski said. “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.”

China and the Philippines also co-hosted a discussion during PAMS, about how Asia-Pacific land forces will develop the capacity to conduct multilateral security operations.

Leaders then participated in an exercise to apply techniques they learned.

Global Security Challenges

1. Proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons

2. Regional war among nation states

3. Civil war and failed states

4. International terrorism

5. Global recession and poverty

6. International crime and drug cartels

7. Humanitarian crises and refugees

8. Threats in the cyber domain

 

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