Pacific Armies meet, discuss new challenges

| July 21, 2012 | 0 Comments
Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, USARPAC, speaks at the opening ceremony for the 36th PAMS in Australia, recently. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Bell | U.S. Army, Pacific, Public Affairs)

Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, USARPAC, speaks at the opening ceremony for the 36th PAMS in Australia, recently. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Bell | U.S. Army, Pacific, Public Affairs)

U.S. Army-Pacific
Public Affairs Office

CANBERRA, Australia — Senior Army personnel from 27 Pacific nations developed relationships and exchanged views during the 36th Pacific Armies Management Seminar, or PAMS, in Australia’s capital, here, July 16-20.

PAMS, the U.S. Army-Pacific’s largest theater security and cooperation event, is co-hosted by USARPAC and a different partner nation, annually.

Army officers from several Asia-Pacific nations listen to opening remarks at the opening ceremony of the 36th Annual Pacific Armies Management Seminar in Canberra, Australia, July 16. Army leaders from 27 nations across the Pacific region are attending the conference, which runs from July 16-20 and is co-hosted by the U.S. Army Pacific and the Australian army. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Bell | U.S. Army Pacific Public Affairs)

Army officers from several Asia-Pacific nations listen to opening remarks at the opening ceremony of the 36th Annual Pacific Armies Management Seminar in Canberra, Australia, July 16. Army leaders from 27 nations across the Pacific region are attending the conference, which runs from July 16-20 and is co-hosted by the U.S. Army Pacific and the Australian army. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Bell | U.S. Army Pacific Public Affairs)

This seminar is the third time Australia has hosted the event since it began in Hawaii in 1978.

“I feel honored to welcome so many of my colleagues from across the Pacific, here, in our nation’s capital for this collaborative exchange,” said Lt. Gen. David Morrison, chief of the Australian army.

Morrison is co-hosting PAMS 2012 with Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, USARPAC.

“The Pacific Armies Management Seminar is the longest-running security forces meeting in the Pacific region, and I believe the continued commitment by participants is recognition of the benefits PAMS provides in strengthening our interpersonal relationships and mutual trust,” Wiercinski said.

PAMS is organized around a theme and several related topics. This year’s theme is “Asia Pacific Land Forces: New Challenges, Shared Solutions.”

Seminar attendees participated in workshops and presentations sharing experiences and best practices with this year’s focus on responding to natural disasters and managing disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

Morrison said the focus on disaster relief is timely.

“Following every major flood, bushfire and cyclone, the Australian army continues to refine our approach to disaster relief and recovery efforts,” Morrison said. “Sharing these lessons with our Pacific neighbors and hearing their solutions to catastrophic incidents, like the 2011 tsunami in Japan and Thailand floods, offers an extremely valuable exchange for the benefit of all citizens in the Pacific region.”

Three plenary sessions were held: “Challenges Confronting Asia-Pacific Land Forces,” hosted by the Maldives and Malaysia; “Opportunities for Land Force Co-operation in the Asia-Pacific Region,” hosted by Indonesia and Japan; and “Practical Approaches to Land Force Challenges in the Asia-Pacific Region,” hosted by Bangladesh and New Zealand.

National senior military officers or civilian experts, spoke during each session. Presentations were followed by facilitated question-and-answer sessions. Delegates then separated into breakout working groups of 20-25 members in each working group to discuss and develop the topics further. The discussion of each

topic concluded in a plenary session where the breakout working groups briefed their findings.

The seminar culminated with a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief table top exercise where nations put their solutions to the test in a controlled environment.

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Category: Exercises, Leadership, News, Training

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