YIR: USARPAC’s importance grows in Pacific theater

| December 21, 2013 | 0 Comments
WAIKIKI — Sgt. Manuel Lopez, from the U.S. Army-Pacific Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team, works as part of the USARPAC display team during the first Land Power in the Pacific Symposium and Exposition, held here, April 9-11. This event provided a venue in the Pacific for military, industry and our Asia-Pacific allies and partners to meet. (Photo by Russell Dodson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

WAIKIKI — Sgt. Manuel Lopez, from the U.S. Army-Pacific Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team, works as part of the USARPAC display team during the first Land Power in the Pacific Symposium and Exposition, held here, April 9-11. This event provided a venue in the Pacific for military, industry and our Asia-Pacific allies and partners to meet. (Photo by Russell Dodson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER — The U.S. Army-Pacific’s role in the Asia-Pacific region stepped up considerably this year.

Members of USARPAC participated in 24 large-scale exercises with 13 different countries.

USARPAC also had 191 engagements with 34 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

SHOALWATER BAY TRAINING AREA, Australia — Spartan paratroopers with the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Inf. Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Inf. Division, parachute into Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Australia, July 20, as part of Operation Talisman Saber 2013. Talisman Saber 2013 provides effective and intense training to ensure U.S. and Australian forces are capable, interoperable and deployable on short notice. (Photo by Sgt. Eric-James Estrada, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

SHOALWATER BAY TRAINING AREA, Australia — Spartan paratroopers with the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Inf. Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Inf. Division, parachute into Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Australia, July 20, as part of Operation Talisman Saber 2013. Talisman Saber 2013 provides effective and intense training to ensure U.S. and Australian forces are capable, interoperable and deployable on short notice. (Photo by Sgt. Eric-James Estrada, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

The Association of the U.S. Army sponsored the first Land Power in the Pacific Symposium and Exposition, April 9-11, in Waikiki. This event provided a venue in the Pacific for military, industry and Asia-Pacific allies and partners to meet.

During the symposium, the following units set-up displays: USARPAC, 25th Infantry Division, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, 9th Mission Support Command, 311th Signal Command, Asia-Pacific Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Center, and U.S. Army-Pacific Contingency Command Post.

The event attracted 33 foreign militaries. Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, former commander, USARPAC, highlighted the importance of regional alliances, security and peace at the symposium.

USARPAC welcomed Gen. Vincent Brooks as new commanding general, July 2, and said goodbye to Wiercinski as he retired after 34 years of service. The change formally transitioned

USARPAC into a four-star command for the first time since 1974, symbolizing the importance of the Army in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The significance of (July’s) ceremony and the message of our commitment here is a clear message. It’s a clear message to the region, and we’re honored to be a part of it,” Brooks said.

USARPAC had some other notable firsts.

Two UH-60 Black Hawks from the 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Brigade, landed at Fort Shafter, July 19, marking the first time in years since helicopters have landed on historic Palm Circle.

Another first was a nonstop flight from Alaska to Australia during exercise Talisman Saber 2013. Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Leota, senior enlisted leader, USARPAC, and members of the 4th Inf. Bde. Combat Team (Airborne), 25th ID, stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, flew 15 hours straight before jumping into Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Australia, July 20. The nonstop flight and jump demonstrated forced entry capabilities of the U.S. airborne. Once on the ground, paratroopers provided lodgment and freedom of movement during the exercise.

The U.S. and China conducted a Practical Field Exchange (PFE) and Academic Exchange, Nov. 12-14, increasing both countries’ ability to work together during natural disasters.

During the China Disaster Management Exchange (DME), Soldiers from USARPAC, Hawaii Army National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers, along with representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, participated with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in a DME at Marine Corps Training Area-Bellows. The highlight of the DME was the PFE, Nov. 14, where U.S. and PLA soldiers demonstrated their humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) techniques.

“This particular event, here in Hawaii, and hosted by U.S. Army-Pacific, included our first practical, hands-on field event on a mock-up rubble pile to practice saving lives in a collapsed building. These techniques we learn from each other’s experiences,” said Brooks.

“HA/DR exchange … symbolizes a new phase of cooperation between the two militaries … and it is of great significance in bolstering our pragmatic cooperation in nontraditional security areas, fostering our common aspirations and capabilities to cooperate together,” said Rear Adm. Li Ji, Chinese Minister of National Defense Foreign Affairs Office.

USARPAC will continue to be the theater army in the Pacific as it starts a new year.

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Category: Exercises, News, Training, Year in Review

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