LANPAC attendees discuss free and open Indo-Pacific, opportunities to partner

LANPAC attendees discuss free and open Indo-Pacific, opportunities to partner

FORUM Staff

Representatives from 28 nations with military operations in the Indo-Pacific gathered from May 21-23 in Hawaii to discuss innovation and adapting to an evolving environment for land forces during the seventh iteration of the Land Forces in the Pacific (LANPAC) Symposium and Exhibition.

Keynote speakers and panelists from ally and partner nations provided insight into topic areas that included multi-domain operations, artificial intelligence, autonomous capabilities and ensuring Soldiers receive strong fundamental training during a time of technological advances. LANPAC also featured a panel discussion on building Pacific partners through health for the first time.

Adm. Philip S. Davidson, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, delivered one of the symposium’s keynote speeches. He reminded attendees that the U.S. is a partner on which they could count and said, “We are in this together.”

“One of America’s inherent strengths is that it does not act, fight or win unilaterally. As the land component evolves to compete, deter and win, it must do so in a way that is compatible and interoperable with allies and partners,” he said. “Our vision is to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific, alongside a constellation of likeminded allies and partners. This is an achievable strategic goal, if and only if, we are willing to work together.”

Lt. Gen. Rick Burr, chief of the Australian Army, also delivered a keynote address. In his speech, Burr described the Australian Army as “an army in motion” and said Australia is in the midst of a “Pacific step-up” to better engage with its Pacific neighbors. (Pictured: Lt. Gen. Rick Burr, chief of the Australian Army, discusses Australia’s approach to a free and open Indo-Pacific during the Land Forces in the Pacific Symposium and Exhibition in May 2019.)

Burr highlighted the Australian Army’s focus on preparedness, people, professionalism, reaching its full potential and partners.

“Regardless of the question, or regardless of the problem, the answer is relationships,” Burr said. “You can’t begin to solve complex problems without having diversity of representation on your team to try to figure it out. It is what we’re doing here. It’s about partnerships. It’s about coming together to share challenges and opportunities in order to allow us to build trust through relationships and that shared understanding.”

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