August 29, 2008
By U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jason Shepherd
United States Army, Pacific
JAKARTA- Senior leaders and security officers from 30 countries converged here Aug. 25-29 with the goal of sharing experiences, fostering partnerships and furthering multi-lateral cooperation in the Pacific region during this year's Pacific Army Management Seminar.
PAMS is the U.S. Army's largest Asia-Pacific theater security cooperation program event. It is a multinational military seminar that provides a forum for senior-level officers from the Asia Pacific's regional ground forces in U.S. Army, Pacific's area of responsibility to exchange views and ideas.
"PAMS is important because we have all the military scholars and thinkers to come together to share their experiences," said Vanuatu Police Commissioner Patu Navoko Lui. "I have gained a lot of experience by listening to some of the military presenters here at PAMS."
The theme for PAMS XXXII was "Critical Land/Security Forces' Challenges." Delegates spent five days discussing training and educating forces for success, transition from conflict to post-conflict operations, gaining and maintaining situational awareness and employing cooperative inter-agency and non-governmental approaches during post-conflict operations.
"I appreciate both the depth and scope of your discussions and we've all expanded our knowledge base," said Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commanding general, United States Army, Pacific and co-host for the seminar. "You are examples of what can be accomplished by working together as a team for peace and regional security."
Lt. Gen. Bambang Darmono, commander, Indonesian Army Training and Doctrine Center, served as the Indonesian co-host.
"We all expected that this seminar would contribute to the already strong relationships between the Asia-Pacific Armies and provide a warm, friendly atmosphere to build the spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding," he said.
For many of the delegates, PAMS was a chance to meet old friends, discuss new topics and learn from each others' experience.
"PAMS is an arena that provides the opportunity for senior officers in this region to interact," added Thailand Col. Somak Roongsita.. "All operations that we are conducting are going to be joint or combined effort and it's very important that the leadership from our Armies know each other. PAMS is one of the best events that we are a part of."
"PAMS is a very effecA,A!tive forum to discuss areas of security cooperation throughout the region where every participant's opinion is valued and indeed necessary for greater understanding," added Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Zettlemoyer, command sergeant major, USARPAC.
PAMS have been held throughout the Asia Pacific region since 1978. Honolulu has hosted PAMS numerous times, however, Auckland, Bangkok, Calgary, Dhaka, Manila, Nadi, New Delhi, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo have hosted at least once. This is the first year that the National Army of Indonesia has co-hosted a PAMS.
"We're very fortunate to have another very successful PAMS event partnering with our Indonesian Army counterparts," said Terry Slattery, USARPAC PAMS coordinator. "They have taken the standard to a very high level and ended up with a program of success. This will long be remembered as an event with great cultural significance and importance to those that attended."
The first PAMS in Honolulu was attended by Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, United States, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia. Now, countries such as China, Chile, India, Mongolia and France send delegates.
Senior Col. Nie Songlai, Director, Institute of Military Studies, People Liberation Army of China, said that this PAMS was a huge success, but added that improvements can always be made.
"This is my first time at PAMS," he said. "It's a really great success and couldn't be better. If I had to choose something, I'd like to see more representatives from other services, from civil agencies, because in the future, we are going to operate in a joint environment."
"Many of our discussions in PAMS have revolved around our relationship with the nongovernmental organizations and other governmental agencies," added Mixon, "so their representation here would benefit us greatly on how we could work inside the region."
During the closing ceremony, Japanese Delegate, Maj. Gen. Misakazu Kakegawa accepted the PAMS colors as next year's co-host. Japan has proposed "International Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief" as next year's topic.
Kakegawa- Japanese Maj. Gen. Misakazu Kakegawa accepts the Pacific Armies Management Seminar colors as co-host for next year's seminar during the closing ceremony in Jakarta Aug. 29.
Mixon- Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commanding general, United States Army, Pacific, passes the Pacific Armies Management Seminar colors to Japanese Maj. Gen. Misakazu Kakegawa as co-host for next year's PAMS during the closing ceremony in Jakarta Aug. 29.
Fire- Members of the Indonesian 7th Cavalry Battalion demonstrate martial art skills by jumping through a ring of fire for participants in this year's Pacific Armies Management Seminar in Jakarta Aug. 28. PAMS is the U.S. Army's largest Asia-Pacific theater security cooperation program event.