HANOI, Vietnam- U.S. Army Pacific and Vietnam People's Army worked together during the past year preparing for the 42nd Pacific Armies Management Seminar and 4th Senior Enlisted Leader Forum. Through hard work and partnership between the two armies, the first ever PAMS event held in Vietnam came to its successful conclusion during a ceremony held Aug. 23, 2018, in Hanoi, Vietnam.
PAMS is USARPACs largest theater security and cooperation event and has been held annually since 1977 with a partner nation. It has progressed from nine attendees at its inception, to the 26 nations that participated this year.
Now in its fourth year, SELF is a similar construct for enlisted leaders and warrant officers in the region to meet for open dialogue, share lessons learned, build and maintain relationships, and provide understanding for what each army can and cannot provide during crisis situations.
The theme this year for both PAMS and SELF was 'Cooperation among Indo-Pacific Land Forces in Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HA/DR).' During the events, attendees participated in large scale plenary discussions, smaller syndicate sessions focused on specific problem-solving, multinational engagements, and cultural activities. The forum closed with the senior enlisted and officer syndicate out-briefs to the senior officers in attendance, highlighting the lessons learned during the event.
During the SELF syndicate out-brief, Warrant Officer 1 Shane Vooght, New Zealand Army, explained how critical the human dimension is to the success of HA/DR operations and the critical role that senior noncommissioned officers play in assuring units accomplish the mission.
"They (NCOs) must have strong coaching skills, because like all good militaries, we surge in fast and we must learn how to transition out. The coaching skills I am talking about are all about helping people, but we must help them help themselves to create their future as we leave," said Vooght.
Sr. Lt. Gen. Pham Hong Huong, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Vietnam People's Army, and PAMS-42 cohost, provided remarks during the closing ceremony.
"The theme of PAMS-42 has encouraged interesting discussion, and it seems, four days is not enough for all of us," said Huong. "But what we have discussed and shared during PAMS is the foundation for every one of us, within our position and capacity, to prepare our forces to respond effectively when disasters occur."
Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding general, USARPAC, thanked his co-hosts for putting on a successful event.
"I don't think it could have been done any better...we have enough lessons learned here that will be shared, that we are all going to benefit greatly, and a lot of lives are going to be saved because of the great work and teamwork here."
Next year, Thailand is scheduled to host PAMS XLIII, SELF V and the 11th Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference.
"We should be able to go away with a lot of confidence to know that we are not going to be alone, we'll be together if something occurs and we have a lot of lessons learned," said Brown.