Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | May 20, 2022

Army Leaders Say Alliances Will be Key to Success in the Indo-Pacific

By Joe Lacdan Army News Service

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- More than 70 years ago, U.S. forces learned the importance of readiness and partner nation alliances during the Korean War, an Army leader said during the 2022 Land Forces Pacific (LANPAC) Symposium Wednesday.

Lt. Gen. Willard Burleson, Eighth Army Commander, said the U.S. forces’ inability to prevent North Korea’s recapture of Seoul stemmed from a lack of readiness.

“We failed. We did not stop the North Korean advance,” Burleson said during a LANPAC panel discussion. “We were not prepared. We didn't have the training. We didn't have the material. We didn't have the readiness.”

Burleson added that the alliance formed between U.S. forces and the South Korean Army helped avoid greater loss of life.

“What’s the answer? … alliances and partnerships,” Burleson said. “The alliance between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea (ROK), or United Nations has been around for a long time. And training and readiness is really important.”

Today the Army maintains a strong presence in the country with a major command, the Eighth Army, stationed at Camp Humphreys.

Burleson stressed building readiness and unit cohesion with multinational readiness exercises including the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center held in Alaska and Hawaii will be crucial. Army units including 25th Infantry Division practiced training in jungle and maritime environments on Oahu and on the Island of Hawaii last October.

Army units in Alaska took part in their rotation of training in March. Soldiers learned to operate in harsh arctic climates. The Army recently introduced its Arctic Strategy earlier this year to maintain regional stability and augment its ability to operate in colder weather.

“What they get from learning about interoperability, human procedures and technical [skills] out of these regional training experiences is tremendously important,” Burleson said. “So participation within southeast and northeast Asia in our training exercise not only builds readiness for our combined security, but it develops leaders for the future.”

During the Association of the U.S. Army Center of Leadership’s Junior Leader Solarium, participants from across the Army and ally nations took part in leadership discussions to share ideas on coalition building, multi-domain operations and leading Soldiers.

About 56 Soldiers and civilian leaders from across the Army and 24 members of U.S. ally nations participated in the program, where they discussed leadership challenges and developed solutions.

Retired Gen. Robert Brown, the former commander of U.S. Army Pacific, founded the Center of Leadership in October 2021 to connect leaders and help form unit cohesion across the service.

Burleson said the solarium will be critical in mentoring future leaders that could influence tactical decisions in the region for years to come.

Col. W. Bochat, who serves as the chief of staff of the 2nd Infantry Division/Republic of Korea-U.S. Combined Division in Camp Humphreys, South Korea, said that her units build unity among its teams by training alongside South Korean troops as well as spending recreational time with their South Korean counterparts.

She added that American and South Korean troops share ideas and debates. Bochat said that time among her South Korean peers builds cohesion that can be critical to joint defense in the Indo-Pacific.

“Relationships start long before the first shots are fired,” said Bochat. “Serving next to my ROK counterparts at the division, brigade and battalion level builds that necessary trust for armistice and conflict. While we speak two different languages, our true interoperable language is tactical and operational competence at our assigned fields.”

Retired Korean Lt. Gen. In-Bum Chun witnessed the close bonds formed between U.S. Army commanders and non-commissioned officers while attending an international military meeting in Washington years ago. He said he saw a U.S. Army sergeant major talk about his commanders as “partners.”

He believes that type of relationship and camaraderie can be forged in the Indo-Pacific among U.S. ally forces.

“I have discovered the secret to the U.S. military’s ability to win wars,” Chun said. “And I don’t believe it is the F-35 [Lightning II] or the [aircraft] carriers. I believe it is your relationship between your officers and your NCOs. This is something that is doable right now.”


Like Us
Follow Us



Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast Returns Home After 55-day Counter Narcotics Patrol
The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast takes a photograph in Manzanillo, Mexico, with two men they rescued during a deployment in the Eastern Pacific Ocean June 10, 2022. The men were lost at sea for 23 days after their vessel was beset by weather. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Brad O'Brien)
June 24, 2022 - ASTORIA, Ore. — The United States Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC 623) returned to homeport Saturday following a 55-day counter narcotics deployment to the Eastern Pacific Ocean.The 210-foot medium endurance cutter and...

Army Alaska National Guard, HHC 297th Regional Support Group Soldiers Contribute To Role Playing Operations During Khaan Quest 2022
On June 20, 2022, Khan Quest 2022 ended with the official closing ceremony. Over the past two weeks Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) hosted 15 nations in this 18th iteration of the exercise. By participating in Khaan Quest, nations were able to showcase their resolve in peacekeeping missions around the world.

Soldiers, Spc. Hunter Mains and Spc. Kyle Johnson with the Army Alaska National Guard, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 297th Regional Support Group contributed a major role in CPX operations which had them role play in several different scenarios. 

Both Soldiers also participated at the end of the exercise mock press conference. The press conference is designed to prepare peacekeepers and military leaders for questions that may be asked of them during stressful situations. Johnson and Mains roleplayed as journalists asking the questions. 

Pictured here the CPX participants listen to the news conference brief given by the military leadership in a role playing scenerio.
June 23, 2022 - Mongolia -- On June 20, 2022, Khan Quest 2022 ended with the official closing ceremony. Over the past two weeks Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) hosted 15 nations in this 18th iteration of the exercise. By participating in Khaan...

Juneteenth Celebrated by Department of the Air Force Leaders in Pentagon’s First Official Ceremony
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., speaks to a crowd of attendees during a Juneteenth Celebration at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., June 21, 2022. Brown’s message highlighted the importance of promoting an inclusive culture for all Airmen and Guardians to be able to serve to their fullest potential. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Elora J. McCutcheon)
June 22, 2022 - ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- Hundreds gathered to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday through song, dance, poetry and storytelling at the first official Juneteenth ceremony held at the Pentagon June 21.  Attended by...

Pacific Partnership Kicks Off in Vietnam
PHU YEN, VIETNAM (June 20, 2022) – Captain Hank Kim, Pacific Partnership 2022 mission commander, left, delivers remarks during the Pacific Partnership Vietnam opening ceremony. Now in its 17th year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brandie Nuzzi)
June 21, 2022 - PHU YEN, Vietnam -- Now in its 17th year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. In Vietnam, the Pacific...

SECNAV Visits Innovative Forward Deployed Marines and Sailors with MRF-D 22
U.S. Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro greets U.S. Marine Corps Col. Christopher Steele, the commanding officer of Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) 22, during a visit with MRF-D 22 at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, June 18, 2022. Secretary Del Toro visited Marines and Sailors with MRF-D 22 and Australian Defence Force personnel as part of the Indo-Pacific battlefield circulation. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Emeline Molla)
June 21, 2022 - DARWIN, AUSTRALIA. – The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, the 78th Secretary of the Navy, visited Marines and Sailors with the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) on June 18.As part of a battlefield circulation tour in the...