By Maj. Cheree BrowneOctober 29, 2013
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Soldiers from across the 25th Infantry Division attended the Information Operations in the Pacific Symposium from Oct. 22 to 24 at the Hale Koa Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii, to discuss and examine the future of information operations.
More than 75 service members and civilians from Oahu's military organizations and countries throughout the Pacific area of responsibility participated in panel discussions that ranged from leveraging the information environment through social media to building opportunities for information operations training in bi-lateral and multilateral exercises.
Working with partnered countries, U.S. participants discussed how multinational information operations could help shape conditions for continued stability and peace within the region. The symposium provided a venue for increased awareness of Asia-Pacific issues and an opportunity for networking with delegates from Singapore, Australia and Canada.
Symposium attendees explored options on how information can be utilized at the strategic and tactical levels while addressing the challenges of the information environment. Participants and panel members addressed alliance and partner cooperation and the need for transparency in a time of shifting military strength in the Pacific. They also discussed the need for information operations to be integrated at the operational force, training and leader development.
Sgt. 1st Class August Maggio, a military information support to operations planner for 2nd SBCT, said the symposium gave him insight into how to work on developing a way forward for the role information operations in the Army at the tactical level.
"Being an information operator not only tests a Soldiers technical and tactical knowledge, but also his or her mental endurance and resilience," said Maggio. "I think this was a great opportunity to help develop future leaders in the information operations community while also fostering a continued desire to build up engagement opportunities with our military and civilian counterparts across the AOR."
Capt. Corey Holowach, Assistant Fire Support Officer for 2nd SBCT and graduate of the Information Operations Tactical Course said the symposium provided an opportunity to discuss how to leverage the information environment.
"The IO symposium was a great opportunity for IO practitioners, across the services and the PACOM AOR, to share ideas and experiences aimed at improving multinational cooperation," said Holowach. "Additionally, we discussed the importance of placing command emphasis on integrating information operations into all operations."
Maggio agreed, saying the most important aspect of the symposium was the opportunity to form relationships and develop multilateral cooperation among the participants.
"We couldn't execute our mission in the Pacific AOR without the help of partner countries like Australia and Singapore, and I am so appreciative that they came to Hawaii and supported this event," Maggio said. "It has been a great experience to gain various perspectives from our partner countries."