NEWS | Dec. 4, 2018

USARPAC Commanders Conference; Competing in the Pacific

By Staff Sgt. Melissa Parrish

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Top U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) senior leaders and their spouses gathered at Fort Shafter, Hawaii for the biannual Commanders Conference, Nov. 28-29 2018.

The two-day conference included key note speakers, strategists and military panels to help build a unified concept throughout the command of how USARPAC will compete in the Indo-Pacific region.

"Over the last several years, we have really focused our efforts on readiness for any contingency needed," said Gen. Robert B. Brown, USARPAC commanding general. "Readiness is still a top priority. During this conference we will look back at what we have done and look forward to how we will compete in the Pacific."

Gen. Brown laid out his new priorities and discussed the implementation of the U.S. Army Pacific Strategy. The question he proposed to his leaders; "How do we compete?"

Keynote speaker Adm. Phil Davidson, Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM), discussed the challenges in the Indo-Pacific and he reinforced the National Defense Strategy.

Davidson said that future security and prosperity of all of our countries depend on the stability of the Indo-Pacific. We could not do this alone. Our allies and partners are imperative for success.

The conference hosted an unprecedented panel discussion with three former USARPAC commanders: Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon 2008-2011, Lt. Gen. James Campbell 2002-2004, and Maj. Gen. Stephen Silvasy 1996.

The former commanders compared past challenges to the present challenges in the pacific. Since 9/11 the U.S. has focused on defeating terrorism. The National Defense Strategy 2018 shifts the focus to the Indo-Pacific region and states that America needs to prepare to compete.

"Getting the message to the American people is what I believe is your most important task," said Silvasy. "The American people need to know that the Pacific is important. I can't say this enough."

Throughout 2018 Thailand and the U.S. are celebrating 200 years of friendship. Thailand is one of the U.S.'s most important partners Gen. Apirat Kongsompong, Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army spoke to leaders about multinational partners in the Indo-Pacific.

"The friendship between the United States and Thailand is important," said Apirat. "I am confident that our relationship and cooperation will continue to prosper and develop into the pillar of regional security both in Southeast Asia and the Indo pacific. Promoting regional and international stability, prosperity, and sustainability."

Attendance at this year's conference will enable leaders to focus on efforts to strengthen relationships and modernize U.S. alliances in the Indo-Pacific region as a priority for Americas Army in the Pacific.

One Team!