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NEWS | Sept. 16, 2015

Top Army Leaders Throughout Pacific Region Gather for Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference/Pacific Armies Management Seminar

By Staff Sgt. Kyle Richardson

DENPASAR, Indonesia — The 9th Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference (PACC IX) & 39th Pacific Armies Management Seminar (PAMS XXXIX) began with opening ceremonies in Denpasar, Indonesia, Sept. 14.

Army Chiefs of Staffs, senior land forces commanders from 26 of 38 countries throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region and their Senior Enlisted Leaders are participating in the conferences Sept. 14-17. This year, the conferences are co-hosted by the Indonesian National Army and U.S. Army Pacific.

PACC is a biennial executive defense forum for the Army Chiefs of Staff from countries throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region, North America and parts of Europe. This iteration is co-chaired by Gen. Mulyono, Indonesian Army Chief of Staff, and Gen. Mark A. Milley, U.S. Army Chief of Staff. PAMS is an annual seminar with three to four-star general officers, or equivalent, that helps to build regional understanding through shared dialogue and experiences. This year, PAMS is co-chaired by Lt. Gen. Erwin Syafitri, Indonesian Army Vice Chief of Staff, and Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, U.S. Army Pacific Commanding General.

In his remarks, Milley said the peace and stability of the region is “vitally important” to the U.S. and that these security efforts must be retained. He encouraged the audience of several hundred to find ways to increase their efforts. He said that activities such as Pacific Pathways and existing multilateral exercises offer opportunities to leverage and provide “semi-permanent presence, strengthen relationships, improve interoperability and build capacity.”

Mulyono emphasized the importance of the venue and it’s contributions to more than security matters saying the chiefs’ conference serves as the instrument to maintain and develop cooperation in many sectors, contributing to overall security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, which “can encourage development of Asia-Pacific countries and international economies.”

This year’s PACC/PAMS theme is “Military Contributions to Regional Multilateral Cooperation.” Seminar topics include “Strengthening Regional Cooperation,” “Understanding Local Wisdom in conduction Regional Cooperation” and “Engaging in Multilateral Cooperative Efforts to Build and Sustain Peace.”

“Multilateral cooperation is rising above the traditions of bilateral interactions,” Brooks remarked in his opening comments. “Cooperation in this way is building more trust and strengthening connections. This is a positive development, and it is also a work-in-progress as deep chasms of distrust remain to be overcome.”

By structure, PACC/PAMS is a multi-tiered conference joined by a common theme. It is the largest multinational military seminars promoting security, peace and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Theater.

Syafitri said that the relationships developed throughout the seminar and through Army-to-Army engagements help to deal with the escalating threats. He said, “We need a thorough and comprehensive understanding to cope in a complex operating environment.”

This year’s PACC/PAMS includes representation from China for the first time.