HONOLULU -- Soldiers and civilians with Pacific Command and from across the Asia Pacific intelligence community gathered in Honolulu, Hawaii, Sept. 12-14 to discuss the power of open source intelligence (OSINT) during the 3rd Annual Pacific Command Asia Pacific Multinational Open Source Conference.

Twelve Asia-Pacific Nations participated in the conference to include Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Phillipines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Thailand.

The objectives of the conference were to increase awareness among national, international, and theater level participants of transnational issues of importance for regional level participants, talk about the current use and importance of OSINT and further facilitate the development of collaborative partnerships among attending organizations using the conference as the foundation for the permanent development of an Open Source Community of Interest for the Asia-Pacific Region.

"What we are really hoping to build upon during this event is the OSINT Community of Interest," said Col. Raul Escribano, U.S. Army Pacific Director of Intelligence. "We are proud to be PACOM's Lead Service for Open Source and we want to make all relevant open source material available to those in our Asian Pacific community at a moment's notice. How we can better do that is a huge part of our discussion here at the conference."

According to Escribano and other members of the USARPAC team, OSINT is usually the first line of intelligence any commander receives during a crisis.

"We can push the information fast and to a large amount of people without classification or administrative constraints," said Escribano. "Open source info can be pushed to decision makers in a relevant and timely manner. It's highly effective. "

"Open source information is easily shareable," said R.J. Glover, USARPAC OSINT Senior Analyst. "It is the best mechanism for partnering nations and allies to share info, to support information requirements and multinational operations. This info is inherently shareable, giving it the ability to move through various international organizations and echelons very, very quickly."

The conference was a three-day affair in which partner nations were given presentations as a large group and then given the opportunity to collaborate in smaller working groups and conduct panel discussions.

"The intent of our small groups is to generate intimate discussion among nations and organizations about various topics," said Escribano. . "Each group will have a different country in the lead of the discussion. Every nation has something to contribute to this cooperative effort. The power of this conference is that we find solutions to complex problems through the lens of the multinational community. Each group will discuss new ideas and initiatives on how OSINT can continue to facilitate better answers to various problem sets."

Closing speaker for the conference was Maj. Gen. Roger Mathews, Deputy Commanding General of U.S. Army Pacific.

"In our arena, information is king," said Mathews. "Open source information is what drives our train. It drives what I do, it drives what my boss does. It makes a huge difference for our country and for yours."

Page last updated Wed September 26th, 2012 at 00:00