U.S. Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy (center), Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) commander speaks to PACAF leaders during the fall Commander's Conference at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Nov. 6, 2017. The conference provided an opportunity for commanders and chiefs from across the Pacific to discuss near and long-term challenges as well as opportunities to better take care of Airmen and their families (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Kamaile Casillas)
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- More than 100 senior officers, command chiefs and their spouses from across the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) area of responsibility attended the fall commander’s conference Nov. 6-8, here.
The semiannual event provides a forum for senior leaders to share perspectives, exchange best practices and lessons learned, as well as strengthen lines of communication in a rapidly changing environment.
“The pace in the theater has fundamentally changed, making events like these critically important in addressing our top priorities and ensuring we are doing our very best to take care of our Airmen and their families,” said Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, PACAF commander, addressing the group. “When you look in the mirror at the end of the day, I need you to be able to say you did everything possible today to prepare your Airmen.”
A substantial portion of the 3-day conference included intelligence analysis and discussions regarding the growing complexity of the Indo-Asia-Pacific. Day one focused on the near-term threat posed by North Korea, day two focused on how the PACAF staff can best support Airmen and commanders across the region, and day three focused on theater-wide challenges to include new operational concepts, like Agile Combat Employment, that are being implemented to counter these challenges.
From supporting allies and partners in bilateral and multilateral training and exercises, to executing the first operational deployment of F-35A Lightning II fighters to Kadena Air Base, Japan--PACAF Airmen continue to meet the demands of a complex command.
“Our Airmen are instrumental in all of this ... in the most consequential region for our future, not just from a military perspective, but as a nation,” O’Shaughnessy said, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a “credible forward-deployed force to retain our competitive advantage.”
The conference also featured breakout sessions providing commanders, chiefs and spouses the opportunity to discuss innovative strategies to improve mission effectiveness as well as better care for Airmen and their families.
“We have to lead in a different way and capacity with this ops tempo to take care of our Airmen,” said Chief. Master Sgt. Anthony Johnson, PACAF command chief. “We’re counting on your leadership, your experience to posture your teams for success.”