Indo-Asia-Pacific Air Chiefs discuss strengthening regional security
TOKYO, Japan -- Air force leadership from nations throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region gathered here Oct. 12 through 14 to discuss how their militaries can partner together and leverage airpower to confront regional challenges.
The symposium, hosted by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, invited Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Force commander, as a guest speaker for the forum and he started off by commending the U.S. and Japan relationship.
“This indeed is a momentous year for our two nations as it marks the 65th anniversary of our strong alliance and allowing us the opportunity to share our thoughts in a gathering of such distinguished fellow airmen from so many partner nations,” O’Shaughnessy said. “2030 is only 14 years away and while we can’t predict with great detail what the future will look like, we all certainly are shaping that future as leaders in our air forces. The decisions we make today will have lasting impacts on our air and overall military capabilities well into the future.
“Our partnership and collaboration are fundamental to the future of air power and its contribution to regional security. Our gathering here today is a great testament to the fact that, despite the diversity and vastness of our Indo-Asia-Pacific region, as airmen, we have much in common.”
While in Tokyo, the air chiefs also attended the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition. With 792 Japanese and international companies, the event displayed commercial and military technology, from new air turbine components to a life-sized display of the first F-35A that JASDF recently received.
“A couple weeks ago, I was privileged to be with General Sugiyama in Fort Worth, Texas, where he accepted Japan’s first F-35,” O’Shaughnessy said. “The rollout ceremony in Fort Worth was a symbolic start to our collaboration in a new dimension, the 5th generation arena. Together with other F-35 coalition nations, this is the beginning of a new era in air power.”
According to O’Shaughnessy, regional security and prosperity are all goals that the nation’s share together; that the nations should work together to deepen interoperability.
“From working level airman to larger multilateral exercises like Red Flag-Alaska or Cope North and everything in-between, our air forces learn valuable lessons from each other,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Exercises and engagements like these not only build capability and understanding among us. It also sends a strong message to our adversaries and potential adversaries.
“The Indo-Asia-Pacific is our home. Its success will ultimately come from how we work together, how we leverage our individual strengths to achieve our common aspirations. Just like sports, everyone on the team brings a unique capability or talent.”