DENPASAR, Indonesia (Sept. 16, 2015) -- Twelve senior enlisted leaders from 10 armies throughout the Pacific region shared ideas and military experiences during the second Senior Enlisted Leaders, or SEL, Forum at the 9th Pacific Armies Chief Conference, or PACC IX, and 39th Pacific Armies Management Seminar, or PAMS XXXIX, Sept. 14-15.

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey attended the forum, and Command Sgt. Maj. Bryant Lambert, U.S. Army Pacific senior enlisted advisor, hosted the conference.

The theme for the two-day forum was "Enlisted Roles and Responsibilities on Regional Security Concerns," and included sessions on women, peace and security, disaster response coordination, and peacekeeping operations.

Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, U.S. Army Pacific commanding general, said the fact that this is the second time that senior enlisted leaders have been included in PACC/PAMS makes it history.

"The fact that you're here is an important message," Brooks said. "This is now a group of senior NCOs [noncommissioned officers] and senior warrant officers, who are a new network of cooperation inside the region. I know it is making a difference."

Lambert said that most importantly it is critical to build defense relationships with regional partners, and while each nation has cultural and religious differences, senior enlisted leaders have the same concerns across armies. He said it is also necessary to have an open and candid dialogue to share lessons learned, build and maintain relationships and partnerships, and understand what each army can and cannot provide during crisis situations.

"It is essential that we have a mutual understanding of the roles and responsibilities of our enlisted forces," Lambert said.

Dailey said conferences like this are "critically important" for our leaders because the larger contingent of all our armies in the Pacific is enlisted.

"From a Soldier standpoint, the things we've been doing with U.S. Army Pacific and Pacific Pathways and working with international countries, they really, truly must understand that this more than just a political alliance. There's a natural, on-the-ground Soldier alliance and that Soldiers universally support one another," Dailey said.

Chief Master Sgt. Wilfredo Javillonar, the Philippine army command sergeant major, who also attended the first senior enlisted forum at PACC/PAMS two years ago in Auckland, New Zealand, said he would encourage sergeants major from all countries across the Pacific region to participate to further enhance cooperation.

"It is very important to attend this seminar because every country can share their experiences, can share their best practices and make recommendations and explain what it happening in other countries," he said.

Participants included senior enlisted advisors from: Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States.

Dailey said that the United States has learned throughout its history, and continues to learn today, so that "a highly trained and educated enlisted force is the force of the future."

"Armies are about people and you have to invest in people. If you invest in the force of the future, it makes for a better force, it makes for a better nation," Dailey said.