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.”

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
324,267
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
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...