NEWS | Aug. 27, 2020

Indo-Pacific Military Leaders Meet Virtually to Address Regional Security Challenges

By Press Release 20-03 U.S. Indo-Pacom Public Affairs Office

CAMP H.M. SMITH, HAWAII -- Senior military leaders from 29 countries virtually joined the annual Indo-Pacific Chiefs of Defense (CHOD) conference August 24-25.

The conference, co-hosted by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, provides a forum for military leaders from throughout the region to address the mutual security challenges of today and tomorrow.

The theme for this year’s conference was“Advancing a Free and Open Indo-Pacific”.

“The growing security environment in the region demands – now more than ever – that we join together to build trust and collective strength to advance the idea of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific for all nations,” said Adm. Phil Davidson, the Commander for USINDOPACOM. “As Indo-Pacific nations – regardless of population, land area, economic prosperity, or military strength – we all have a voice in shaping the international system.”

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama opened the conference and U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper delivered the keynote address.

The 29 countries participating this year is the most in the 22-year history of the conference, providing the opportunity for military leaders to connect virtually.

“Together, we must achieve effective means to continue to advance the idea of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” said Davidson. “To uphold international law, rules, and norms and to promote inclusive regional security frameworks, despite the growing challenges in the Indo-Pacific.”

Other speakers and topics for this year’s conference included: U.S. Surgeon General Vice Adm. Jerome Adams on the national security implications of COVID-19; Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon on the national security implications of 5G mobile technologies; former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the role of multilateralism in advancing a Free and Open Indo-Pacific; and remarks from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley. 

Point of Contact: USINDOPACOM Public Affairs Office at 808-477-1341 or