PACAF hosts Pacific Rim Air Power Symposium

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Pacific Air Forces hosted military leaders from 20 countries throughout the Pacific region during the annual Pacific Rim Air Power Symposium held here Sept. 22-25.

The PACRIM Airpower Symposium, previously known as the PACAF Director of Operations Conference, builds and improves multilateral relationships among air forces in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. This year's theme, "International Cooperation, a Capacity and Capability Multiplier," focused discussions on improving cooperation and coordination during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crises, as well as enhancing the coordination of air assets during contingencies.

"PACRIM Airpower Symposium provides a platform that fosters international cooperation, strengthens partnerships, and builds understanding of our combined interests in the Pacific," said Maj. Gen. Paul McGillicuddy, the Vice Commander of Pacific Air Forces, and host of this year's Pacific Rim Airpower Symposium. "The symposium focuses on increasing interoperability and efficiency in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response.

"In a disaster response or humanitarian aid scenario, time saved means lives saved. Having connections in place with our partners throughout the region enables us to respond more rapidly and effectively when crises strike," McGillicuddy said. "Events like these lay the foundation for participation of our allies and partners in other events such as exercises, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, and subject matter expert exchanges."

The Senior Enlisted Leadership Conference, the largest multi-national air force enlisted conference in the Pacific, was held in conjunction with the PACRIM Airpower Symposium. First held in 2008, the conference complements the PACRIM Airpower Symposium, offering a forum for regional air force senior noncommissioned officers to assemble and discuss common topics of interest.

"In this forum we are able to discuss common issues that affect proper force development and force management of enlisted forces, with the goal of promoting interoperability and relationship building," said Chief Master Sergeant Harold Hutchison, the Command Chief Master Sergeant for Pacific Air Forces.

In addition to the discussions focused on this year's theme, leaders also discussed the UN Security Council's "Women, Peace, and Security" initiative, which promotes women's participation in conflict prevention, management, and resolution, as well as post conflict relief and recovery, advances peace, national security, economic and social development, and international cooperation.

The partnerships fostered through participation in the PACRIM Airpower Symposium have proven vital to the continuing peace and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. These symposiums aid in establishing and enhancing cultural understanding, information sharing and interoperability, and set the stage for participation by Indo-Asia-Pacific nations in other events such as exercises, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, subject matter exchanges, and conferences.