JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Representatives from eight Indo-Pacific ally and partner nations attended the largest international Department of the Air Force engagement, Senior Enlisted Leader International Summit, or SELIS, in Arlington, Aug. 1–5.
Hosted by Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass, SELIS focused on people, readiness and culture through connections between allies and partners. In all, the summit attracted more than 80 senior enlisted leaders representing 62 nations and NATO Allied Air Command.
Chief Master Sgt. David R. Wolfe, U.S. Pacific Air Forces command chief, explained “integrated deterrence needs partners with highly functional interoperability. That must happen within the enlisted force. Gatherings like this help form mutually understood standards to develop our Airmen and ensure all of the Indo-Pacific allies and partners are ready and relevant in the face of increasing threats.”
“It is the relationships and partnerships with you all that is our most strategic advantage in a high-end fight," Bass said.
Cara Abercrombie, from the National Security Council, further emphasized the necessity of strong partnerships.
“In the face of our growing security challenges, we need to think about how we cooperate,” Abercrombie said. “Knowing who to call in a crisis or for an opportunity with sharing the threat assessment picture.”
For PACAF, developments throughout the region solidify the resolve of Indo-Pacific allies and partners to prepare their enlisted forces for a dynamically changing security environment.
“This was a great introduction for new partnerships,” said Warrant Officer of the Royal New Zealand Air Force Kerry Williams. “It allows us to see how we all work, so that no matter how far we are from the fight, we know how each partner can contribute.”
Military Expert 6 See Lye Ng, Republic of Singapore Air Force command chief, explained, “We all bring our own perspectives and challenges that are good references to integrate into each other’s systems to better work together.”