CAMP SMITH, Hawaii –
Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, hosted a virtual meeting Nov. 30, with the Indo-Pacific Chiefs of Defense to continue discussions on challenges, opportunities, and security issues in the region.
The virtual meeting brought together senior military leaders from 25 countries, and focused on creating a collective understanding of risks facing regional Allies and partners.
During the meeting, Admiral Aquilino delivered his impressions of the challenges and opportunities facing the Indo-Pacific region with an emphasis on how USINDOPACOM will continue to work together with Allies and partners to ensure a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
“We have a strong network of allies and partners and whenever we can come together it builds our collective resiliency, capacity, and responsiveness to our challenges and needs, all of which contributes to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Aquilino said.
Fellow Chiefs of Defense also offered their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities facing the region.
General Seung-kyum Kim, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Republic of Korea, shared the understanding of how important the effects of climate change have on security and national defense. He also noted the importance of the international community's common response towards transnational and non-military threats such as disasters caused by climate change, and explained the ROK military's role in the common response.
Lt. Gen. Domingo Raul Falur, Chief of Defense Force, Timor Leste also emphasized the importance of cooperation in preparing and responding to the effects of climate change.
“The effects caused by climate change results in enormous damage and loss of many lives, through natural disaster, or catastrophe. We think that cooperation and collaboration between all countries are fundamental to synchronize our response systems and help in taking action against the effects caused by the climate crisis,” he said.
Other key areas the leaders highlighted during the meeting included a regional view and specific country profiles that summarize the key infrastructure exposed to the projected impacts of climate change.
Joseph Martin, Director for the Center for Excellence, Disaster Management at USINDOPACOM, provided a briefing on the regional implications of climate change.
“Climate Change is not only a military matter, it is a national matter and you are encouraged to share this information as you see fit,” Martin said.
This event was a continuation of the robust conversation that occurred at the 24th Annual Chiefs of Defense conference held July in Sydney, Australia.