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

Army Leaders Across Indo-Pacific Meet to Discuss Challenges, Opportunities

By Sean Kimmons U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public Affairs

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Senior leaders from the U.S. Army and more than 20 foreign armies held hundreds of bilateral talks during the largest land power conference in the Indo-Pacific region.

The meetings, part of the Land Forces Pacific (LANPAC) Symposium, allowed leaders to privately discuss future exercises, challenges and other relevant topics within U.S. Army Pacific’s (USARPAC) area of operations, which spans about half the globe.

Gen. Charles A. Flynn, commander of USARPAC, led the effort and spoke with several of his counterparts, most of whom were the top leaders of their respective armies.

“Our relationships with allies and partners are a lynchpin enabling a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said. “Through exercises and engagements, we improve our ability to work together and build our collective strength.”

On Wednesday, Maj. Gen. JB Vowell, commander of U.S. Army Japan, joined Flynn to converse with Lt. Gen. Toshikazu Yamane, vice chief of staff for the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force, or JGSDF.

After the closed-door meeting, Vowell said he was able to speak with both leaders about a variety of topics including plans for his command-led exercises, such as Orient Shield and Yama Sakura, in which Japanese soldiers also participate.

“That’s great to talk to a counterpart at a senior level about that to make sure we have the right framework for the exercise design and for the training objectives,” Vowell said.

Yamane said the LANPAC symposium was part of his first overseas visit in his new assignment and welcomed the opportunity to engage with U.S. Army leaders in person.

“As well as knowing people, strengthening our cooperation is one of our goals,” Yamane said. “This visit will be helpful in that regard.”

Yamane believes to make the partnership stronger between the JGSDF and U.S. Army is to better understand and support each other.

He added that both organizations have improved their interoperability and aim to work more closely together in the future.

Vowell said Soldiers in his command cannot do what they do without their Japanese counterparts. He said the countries are inextricably linked for the defense of Japan if an attack were to occur and his command is connected with the JGSDF on a daily basis.

Vowell said the two organizations continually carry out three types of interoperability when together, which consist of human, technical and procedural activities.

“We need to understand how each other’s processes work, how our technology threads together and the human interaction,” he said. “The trust that you build in peacetime you cannot make up for in a crisis.”

A specific effort both have been collaborating on is the refinement of Japan’s Cross-Domain Operations concept, similar to the U.S. Army Multi-Domain Operations concept.

The pair of strategies place an emphasis on preparing for a new battlefield that could include information, space, cyber and electronic warfare.

“We’re a partner in their evolution,” Vowell said. “Because our capabilities commensurate to theirs, they can learn from our mistakes and what we do or don’t do in Multi-Domain Operations.

“That’s probably the best value we can give them,” he added. “Not that we’re better or that we’re superior. It’s more how do we help them evolve their capabilities, their posture into the expanded defense of Japan that is relevant in the 21st century.”

Vowell, who also met with Lt. Gen. Rick Burr, chief of the Australian Army, and a team from the Bangladesh Army, among other partners, said he found the face-to-face meetings more productive than previous virtual meetings.

As a result of the pandemic, this year’s symposium was the first time it was held in person for three years.

“The value is human connectivity, not just digital connectivity for a meeting,” Vowell said. “You cannot replace that.”


Like Us
Follow Us



U.S. INDOPACOM announces establishment of Joint Task Force Red Hill
220630-N-BD629-1009 CAMP H.M. Smith, Hawaii (June 30, 2022) Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Adm. John C. Aquilino addresses members of the media during a press conference announcing the establishment of Joint Task Force Red Hill. JTF Red Hill, in close coordination with the State of Hawaii, will oversee the safe and expeditious defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, demonstrating DoD’s commitment to remove fuel as quickly as possible, in a safe and informed manner, and with full transparency to regulators, intergovernmental partners, and with the people of Hawaii. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon M. Smith/Released)
July 1, 2022 - CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii – Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, announced the establishment of Joint Task Force Red Hill (JTF Red Hill) on June 30.The Secretary of Defense directed the standup of JTF...

Rim of the Pacific 2022 Officially Begins
Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 participants network at the Southern California opening ceremony. Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, four submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 29 to Aug. 4 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity while fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships among participants critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series that began in 1971.
June 30, 2022 - U.S. Navy -- Twenty-six nations, 38 surface ships, four submarines, nine national land forces, more than 30 unmanned systems, approximately 170 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel will train and operate in and around the...

Chief of Naval Operations, Japanese Chief of Staff Meet to Discuss Maritime Security
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday meets with Chief of Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Adm. Ryo Sakai during an office call at the Pentagon, June 28. The two leaders discussed maritime security and ongoing efforts to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
June 30, 2022 - WASHINGTON -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday hosted the Chief of Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Adm. Ryo Sakai in Washington, D.C., for an office visit, June 28.The two leaders discussed...

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Peter Haas on Account of U.S. Independence Day 2022
Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Peter Haas on Account of U.S. Independence Day 2022.
June 30, 2022 - U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh -- Good afternoon, everyone! And thank you for joining us for this celebration of the 246th anniversary of U.S. independence. Independence Day in America is a day of red, white, and blue; a day of...

The U.S. Provides Immediate Assistance to Respond to Drought in Kiribati
US $500,000 in humanitarian assistance to respond to the drought across Kiribati
June 30, 2022 - SUVA, U.S. Embassy in Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu -- The U.S., through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing US$500,000 in humanitarian assistance to respond to the drought across...