| U.S. Army Pacific | Nov. 18, 2020
U.S. Army Pacific Commanding General, Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, presents his opening remarks on Nov. 16 at the 44th Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar and the 6th Senior Enlisted Leaders Forum. Due to COVID-19, this year's conference is being conducted virtually by all participants. U.S. Army Pacific shares co-hosting honors with an ally or partner nation each year. In 2020, the Philippine Army (PA) took on that role. Past co-hosts have been virtually every ally and major partner nation in the Indo-Pacific region. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Ondirae Abdullah-Robi)
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- The 44th annual Indo-Pacific Army Management Seminar (IPAMS) will take place across the vast Indo-Pacific region November 16-17, 2020. Because of the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, this years’ conference is being conducted virtually by over 20 participants.
The largest land forces seminar in the region is hosted by the Philippine Army and U.S. Army Pacific. Gen. Paul LaCamera, Commanding General, U.S. Army Pacific, heads the U.S. delegation and will connect to the conference from Fort Shafter, Hawaii. Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Commanding General, Philippine Army, will connect from his headquarters at Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila. The rest of the multi-national participants will dial in from their home countries respectively.
IPAMS is a military seminar that provides a forum for senior-level officers from the Indo-Pacific's regional ground forces to exchange views and ideas. It provides opportunities for future leaders of regional armies to develop strong interpersonal relationships and strengthen existing bonds. Taking place concurrently is the annual Senior Enlisted Leaders Forum (SELF). These are group discussions and professional development directed at senior-enlisted personnel from various countries.
The theme for this year’s conference: Addressing Challenges to Indo-Pacific Armies in Urban Environments. Multiple plenary sessions will feature distinguished guest speakers and lively discussions on the complexities of operating in urban environments from peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, food/water security, area rehabilitation, to leadership development and how to succeed in these challenging situations. The seminar’s working group sessions are specifically designed to be challenging and enlightening while promoting frank and open discussion. They also provide an opportunity to advance our understanding of key issues while showing respect for each other’s role in promoting security and stability in a free and open Indo-Pacific.
IPAMS is the preeminent senior army engagement in the region. Participation has grown from 9 nations at the first conference held in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1977, to a high of 31 nations in Seoul, South Korea in 2017. For 44-years, the objective of IPAMS is to promoted peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region through mutual understanding, dialogue, and friendship. In addition to building interpersonal relationships, it's a professional development opportunity for future. IPAMS provides all participants a unique opportunity to discuss the Indo-Pacific region’s security issues and to exchange ideas on issues of mutual concern.
With close to 40 nations comprising its make-up, the Indo-Pacific region covers more than half of the earth’s surface with six of the most populated countries in the world. This region is inclusive of over 3,000 languages and dialects, and poses some of the most pressing security challenges ranging from terrorism to natural disasters. Seven of the world’s 10 largest armies are in the region where border disputes and sovereignty concerns are headline events.
IPAMS/SELF brings army senior leaders together, in a safe and convenient way, to discuss differences, establish trust, mitigate miscalculations, resolve challenges, and find commonality among the participating multinational-professional soldiers.
Virtual conferences are the new normal. It allows senior commanders from around the region to stay in touch, and continue to build on relationships and shared interests. These virtual discussions increase interactions among allies and partners that will pave the way for further regional cooperation.