By Maj. Melodie TafaoSeptember 13, 2019
THAILAND - Brig. Gen. Timothy Connelly, commanding general of the 9th Mission Support Command, along with Army chiefs from around the Indo-Pacific gathered in Bangkok, Thailand from Sept. 9th thru 11th for the 11th bi-annual Indo-Pacific Army Chiefs Conference (IPACC) and Indo-Pacific Management Seminar (IPAMS) aimed at promoting trust, understanding and cooperation among land forces in the region.
This year's conference was co-hosted by the Royal Thai Army and the U.S. Army and the theme was "Achieving Sustainable Security: A New Perspective for Indo-Pacific Armies." During the conference, senior army leaders engaged in discussion, participated in plenary sessions, and heard from distinguished guest speakers, with the intent of enhancing relationships among national armies and continuing to work together to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
With the 9th MSC being the only Army Reserve Command in the Pacific, international events such as these, further enhance the command's role as a force provider in the Pacific.
The 9th MSC is a "collection of Army Reserve forces that are forward postured in the Pacific. As such, we provide the Indo-Pacific Command reserve forces that are essentially and commonly referred to as the economy of force," said Connelly. "We are part of the local population. Many of our Soldiers live and work here. We're part of the community. It is more economical from a government tax payer perspective to maintain and sustain the command, but when necessary, because of our capabilities, we can be rapidly assembled and deployed to meet a myriad of requirements in the Pacific."
Maj. Robert Behrman, Strategic Planner for the 9th MSC, explains the importance of promoting these long term relationships with our allies in the Pacific through these international events.
"The conference is significant to the 9th MSC because it affects how we plan to engage with allies and partners in support of U.S. Army Pacific's efforts to assure allies and deter adversaries in the U.S. INDOPACOM Area of Responsibility," said Behrman. "As an assigned force, the 9th MSC provides both trained and ready units during contingency operations and conducts operations in support of U.S. INDOPACOM in long-term strategic competition in theater. Relationships built during this conference may affect both the training and exercises conducted by 9th MSC units and can lead to future developments in their potential wartime missions."
During the conference Connelly represented USARPAC in a bilateral engagement with COL Manoa Gadai, Commander, Land Forces of the Republic of Fiji Military Force, where they reaffirmed the longstanding military to military relationship between Fiji, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
Gadai discussed the Fiji Land Forces enduring Peacekeeping mission while Connelly discussed planned USARPAC operations, including Pacific Pathways and the Cartwheel exercise. This engagement brought enthusiasm to both parties and presented options for future engagements, including cooperation on non-commissioned officer and officer professional development, war fighting capability including weapons training, development of an amphibious capability for humanitarian assistance and disaster response, and counter terrorism capability.
U.S. Indo-Pacific Command believes that partnership is critical to the success of the region and in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific. IPACC and IPAMS is the largest gathering of senior Army leaders and security officials in the area that enhances our alliances and partnerships to more effectively respond to crises or contingencies.
"It's a great opportunity for military allies of the United States to come together to talk through and propose solutions for complex international challenges," said Connelly.