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NEWS | May 22, 2024

Pacific Air Forces Airmen participate in multilateral logistics, safety symposium in New Zealand

By Tech. Sgt. Hailey Haux, Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

Ally and partner nations gathered in New Zealand for the annual Indo-Pacific Command and Pacific Air Forces C-130 and Fighter Logistics and Safety Symposium, or LASS, May 13 through 17, 2024.

This multilateral symposium allows for participants to discuss a wide range of air and ground safety, logistics and maintenance best practices, challenges, and mitigation strategies related to flight and airfield operations, wildlife hazard management, organization and structure, air and ground transportation, fuels, supply chain management, and corrosion control.

“As we look toward 2030, we recognize that our operating environment is becoming increasingly complex,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Mullinax, PACAF A4 Chief of Logistics Plans Division. “The rise of advanced technologies, the growing importance of space and cyber domains, and the evolving nature of threats all demand that we adapt and innovate … in this spirit, I want to emphasize the critical role that logistics and safety play in enabling our airpower. From maintenance of our aircraft to the sustainment of our personnel, logistics is the backbone of our operations. And safety is the foundation upon which we build our trust and confidence in each other.”

Countries in attendance this year included: United States, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

Symposiums like this help all nations transit and integrate faster and more efficiently when we need to operate together in the future. It all comes down to relationships, trust and understanding.

“As we work together to achieve our shared vision,” said Mullinax. “I am reminded of the words of Admiral Harry Harris, who has said, ‘The Indo-Pacific region is not a zero-sum game, where one country’s gain must come at the expense of another. Rather, it is a region of shared interests, where cooperation and collaboration can lead to mutual benefit.’ This symposium is a testament to that spirit of cooperation.”

While LASS may be focused on logistics and safety, it also falls into the Agile Combat Employment, or ACE, construct more than one would think.

According to Air Force doctrine, ACE is a proactive and reactive operational scheme of maneuver executed within threat timelines to increase survivability while generating combat power. When applied correctly, ACE complicates the enemy’s targeting process, creates political and operational dilemmas for the enemy, and creates flexibility for friendly forces.

“The LASS is an activity, an investment to enable PACAF in the future to execute contested ops and demonstrates commitment to allies and partners,” said Ms. Melisa Piriyakarnjanakul, PACAF Theater Logistics Security Cooperation Program Manager. “ACE posture includes equipment and supply prepositioning, access to forward operating sites for major combat operations in a contested environment. Prepositioning and access requires working with partner nations; the LASS is a touchpoint to continue progress toward access.”

​During this event each country’s representative conducts a presentation about the challenges, solutions, or unique procedures as well as any innovations they use for their C-130 or fighter aircraft, allowing everyone to gain insight and knowledge about every nation’s unique capabilities.