JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy hosted the Commander in Chief of Royal Thai Air Forces Air Chief Marshal Johm Rungswag here Nov. 17, 2017, to discuss ways to further strengthen the alliance between the two air forces.
The Kingdom of Thailand is the United States' oldest treaty ally in Asia, with ties between the two nations dating more than 180 years. For the last 60 years, the two nations have also been committed to mutual defense cooperation by treaty.
"Real partnerships between nations begin with real partnerships between people," O'Shaughnessy said. "Our ability to come together to discuss challenges in candid conversation is grounded in the friendship and trust that has been established over time and is critical to ensuring stability and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific."
As part of his visit, Johm and his staff participated in staff dialogues with PACAF leadership, visited the 613th Air Operations Center and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, toured various aircraft on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam and the USS Arizona memorial. The Royal Thai Air Force delegation also included several spouses, who were able to visit historical sites as well as immerse in discussions regarding airman and family care.
O'Shaughnessy visited the Kingdom of Thailand in May of this year. While there, he spoke with Johm about increasing combat capabilities and the strength of air force-to-air force relationships. The two also spoke about teamwork and interoperability built through the working relationship and mutual support of the two nations. These principles are displayed annually during the largest training operation between Thailand and the U.S. with exercise COPE TIGER.
While at PACAF, O'Shaughnessy and Johm built upon this framework, discussing opportunities to enhance exercise participation and training, as well as the collaboration required to address near and long-term threats to the region.
"The strategic complexity facing the region is unique and multi-faceted. Now more than ever it is vital that our alliance remains strong and resilient in the face of rapid change," O'Shaughnessy said. "Increased interoperability between our forces benefits the entire region as we work to uphold the values that have led to decades of peace and prosperity."
The visit of Johm and his delegation comes after the 2017 Pacific Air Chiefs Symposium in September in which Air Chiefs from 18 countries across the Indo-Asia Pacific came together under the theme: "Challenges to regional security: promoting combined operations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific."