Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Dec. 7, 2021

Indo-Pacom, Southcom Leaders Discuss Allied Security at National Forum

By Terri Moon Cronk DOD NEWS

WASHINGTON -- Advancing U.S. security through partnerships and alliances with other nations was the topic discussed by two combatant command leaders at Saturday's Reagan National Defense Forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Navy Adm. John Aquilino, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and Army Gen. Laura Richardson, commander U.S. Southern Command, took part in a panel discussion at the forum, which offers the defense community a chance to discuss and debate how the United States can lead the world in an era of increasingly complex challenges and opportunities.

Aquilino said in the Indo-Pacom area, there is no concern about the strength of U.S. alliances and partnerships. "Our value and the value of our partners is clear in this region," he said.

Additionally, Aukus, a trilateral security pact among Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States was announced Sept. 15 for the Indo-Pacific region, where the United States and the United Kingdom will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

"Aukus is an additive security relationship that will be extremely helpful to keep that peace and prosperity in the region," he said, adding, "so I certainly welcome it. Australia has made a big step, and I think it will increase the security in the region. For the [solutions set] long term, it is our allies and partners coming together to demonstrate the adherence to international rules-based order for the stability in the region, and [we must] continue that so we are stronger when we're together."

As an additive to the other security arrangements, Aquilino said. "[Aukus'] interoperability with the United States [and] all those allies and partners is beneficial. We value that interoperability. And as the security apparatus works together, it does make us stronger."

Richardson talked about the importance of Colombia and Brazil in her area of responsibility, which have been two of the United States' biggest security partners in the southern region for a long time.

"[Given] all of the challenges that we have — the cross-cutting threats [that] challenge our collective security across all domains … our allies and partners exponentially make us stronger," she said. "And so, I think we have to look at that, from that perspective of what they have to bring and what we have to bring. We have to look at it from their perspective and their lens. A lot of times we look only through … our lens."

Richardson said U.S. allies want to partner and be teammates with the United States and want to do more, she noted, adding, "I think that we've got to capitalize upon that."

Military exercises give the United States and its partner nations the opportunities to showcase professional militaries and help train partners, who become key exporters of security in the region, she emphasized. "So, we're not only just participating in an exercise to work toward another one — it actually trains [nations] to be better security partners in the region, as well."

ndo-Pacom executes 120 military exercises annually with U.S. allies and partners, and the nation is looking to make those more minilateral or multilateral, Aquilino said. Using the Rim of the Pacific Exercise as an example, the Indo-Pacom commander pointed out that the last time it was conducted, there were 27 nations with maritime forces, ground forces and air forces. "That's what's been going on for 80 years, so we need to continue down that path, and we welcome those other sets of security exercise relationships." He added Aukus is a small microcosm that applies to the entire rest of the security apparatus, "and we're here to support all of our allies and partners who would like to expand or increase their capability."

Turning to China, Richardson said that nation's playbook for Africa is taking place in Latin America now. "It's been happening in Africa for years, and if we're not careful, what's happening in Latin America will in five or 10 years have the same impacts," she said.

China's Belt and Road Initiative is a strategy initiated by the People's Republic of China that seeks to connect Asia with Africa and Europe by land and maritime networks with the aim of improving regional integration, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth.

"So if you're having a problem with your economy already, and then the Chinese come with the Belt and Road Initiative with projects and money, and they're ready to start, it looks very attractive to some of our countries that are having a hard time with their economies," she said.

COVID-19 is still very prevalent in our partner nations and countries in Latin America, and they have suffered at the hands of COVID-19, Richardson said, adding, "In my mind, that has changed the geopolitical landscape for some of the countries as they continue to deal with COVID[-19]."

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
328,419
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
31st MEU Conducts Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Shore-to-Ship Heavy Lif
U.S. Marines with Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (Rein.), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit places a joint light tactical vehicle onto Expeditionary Mobile Base USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) using a CH-53E Super Stallion during a helicopter support team exercise in the Philippine Sea, Aug. 8, 2022. HSTs enable the setup of an expedient drop zone for heavy equipment to be picked up and transported by flight. The 31st MEU is operating aboard ships of the Tripoli Amphibious Ready Group in the 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
Aug. 10, 2022 - PHILIPPINE SEA, USS Tripoli -- Marines from 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31, worked alongside the aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squdron-262...

Readout of Chief of Staff Air Force’s Visit to Singapore
Dr. Ng Eng Hen, Singapore Minister for Defence, presents Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. with the Meritorious Service Medal during a visit to Singapore Aug. 7-10. The purpose of the visit was to reaffirm the U.S. Air Force's commitment to the bilateral defense relationship and discuss efforts to enhance cooperation.
Aug. 10, 2022 - SINGAPORE (AFNS) -- U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. traveled to Singapore Aug. 7-10 to reaffirm the U.S. Air Force's commitment to the bilateral defense relationship and discuss efforts to enhance...

Carrier Air Wing 9 Returns from Indo-Pacific Deployment
E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes assigned to the
Aug. 10, 2022 - SAN DIEGO -- Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, embarked aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), returned from a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet areas of operations, Aug. 9.VW-9 is the...

Responders to Hold Search and Rescue Exercise off Tumon Bay
The USCGC Frederick Hatch (WPC 1143) departs Apra Harbor, Guam, on Aug. 5, 2022, for a patrol. The Hatch is a 154-foot Sentinel-class fast response cutter that calls Guam its home port.
Aug. 10, 2022 - SANTA RITA, Guam -- The U.S. Coast Guard, Guam Fire Rescue, Guam Police, and the U.S. Navy will conduct a search and rescue exercise (SAREX) in Guam, Aug. 10 – 11.This year’s SAREX will entail a coordinated response to an...

Rangers Reunite Across the World During Super Garuda Shield
Maj. Arief Widyanto, Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) poses for a photo after reuniting with his former Ranger Instructor, 1st Sgt. Dan Alexander during Super Garuda Shield in Bataraja, Indonesia on Aug. 3, 2022. Super Garuda Shield, a part of Operation Pathways and a longstanding annual, bilateral military exercise conducted between the U.S. military and Indonesia National Armed Forces, reinforces the U.S. commitments to our allies, and regional partners, joint readiness, and the interoperability to fight and win together.
Aug. 10, 2022 - BATURAJA, INDONESIA -- Among the hundreds of people present during the joint airborne operations in support of Super Garuda Airborne on Aug. 3, 2022, 1st Sergeant Dan Alexander, First Sergeant, A Company., 2-35 Infantry...