Largest-ever PACS concludes, enhancing competitive advantages for 22 nations

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Nick Wilson
  • Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

Committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific, air chiefs and senior enlisted leaders from around the world convened for the Pacific Air Chiefs Symposium 2023 at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Nov. 13-16. 

The four-day symposium was held to foster regional security, stability, interoperability, leadership development, knowledge exchanges, and to ensure a shared understanding of challenges throughout the Indo-Pacific.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, PACAF commander, hosted the historic event, which was attended by U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass, and the senior air force leaders of 22 nations.

"In our current era of strategic competition, it is imperative that the U.S. Air Force follows through with our allies and partners to enhance our competitive advantage and secure common interests. That is exactly what I came here to do and I’m fully confident we achieved that goal." U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin

The briefings and forums held throughout PACS 23 emphasized the value of enduring relationships with Allies and partners, how combined forces succeed, and what distinguishes them from competitors. The symposium also explored how lessons learned from the conflict in Ukraine can be applied to ensure the Pacific region takes necessary steps to prevent conflict.

“The challenges we face in the Indo-Pacific are more complex than ever, but we are not addressing them alone.” Gen. Ken Wilsbach

“This symposium not only strengthened bonds with nations around the world, but also provided a platform to share best practices, sharpen our competitive edge, promote shared values, and ultimately reinforce security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” Wilsbach said.

During lessons learned briefings, senior leaders discussed the importance of air superiority, rapid runway repair, agile combat employment, and asset dispersal among the many topics related to deterring aggression through modernization, forward presence, and rapid response capabilities.

Other forums at PACS 23 facilitated collaboration with Allies and partners in collective endeavors such as increasing interoperability, information sharing, and resolve to sharpen combined efforts in developing a networked security architecture.

“During such tumultuous times, we must increase our efforts to ensure peace.”Maj. Gen. Kelvin Khong

“This does not mean the absence of disagreements, because this has never happened in history. Instead, it is about how we manage our differences – through dialogue, through mutual trust and understanding, and working constructively together where our interests lie,” said Maj. Gen. Kelvin Khong, chief of the Republic of Singapore Air Force and acting dean of this year’s symposium.

In an age of long-term strategic competition that challenges international norms, U.S. Air Force senior leaders will continue to use events such as PACS 23 to refine ways of managing competition responsibly to prevent conflict and promote the shared values of freedom of navigation and overflight, adherence to international law, and maintaining peace and stability in the region.