JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM—The 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command and Pacific Integrated Air and Missile Defense Center (PIC), hosted a multinational summit at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Hawaii from Dec. 6-9, 2021.
During the three-day event, multiple nations came together to discuss the importance of missile defense and how it contributes to the protection of the Indo-Pacific region.
The main theme throughout the seminar was enhancing IAMD with like-minded partners to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
“As a result of the success of the seminar and summit, future IAMD engagements are being planned with potential expansion to include other allies and partners in the region,” said Pat Connelly, IAMD Academic & Education Lead, Pacific IAMD Center.
IAMD professionals from across the Indo-Pacific Theater met to collaborate on Integrated Air and Missile Defense topics in an open-discussion forum. It was the first event of its kind with senior field grade officers; with meetings hosted by the 94th AAMDC Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Mark Holler.
As a 94th AAMDC Australian embedded plans officer, Maj. Andrew Evans explained that this particular summit focused on those at the battlefield level, as opposed to focusing on the political perspective of defense.
“There are higher-level policy engagements which are where politicians and general officers talk about IAMD policy, this is more a warfighter-focused event for the INDOPACOM region,” said Evans. “We specifically targeted O-5s and O-6s as representatives from each of the countries to come out because they are the actions officers at the pointy end of the IAMD battle.”
While there were multiple meetings and briefings throughout the week, there was time for more casual interactions and more importantly, honest one-on-one conversations from each representative.
“We had a casual dinner and drinks, and some tours during the week,” said Evans. “But during the academics portions, a lot of the sidebar discussions were the real gravy for this meeting took place. The academics were just a platform to get the discussions going.”
After the initial meet and greets were completed, the summit stepped up and gave those attending a variety of topics vital for a combined understanding of IAMD.
“Participants of the seminar joined forces to deliberate on a range of IAMD subjects, beginning with each nation providing a brief on their specific concept of the IAMD enterprise,” said Connelly. “A presentation of ‘IAMD Lessons learned’ and subsequent discussions on IAMD planning and execution were provided by the PIC. Remarks from INDOPACOM IAMD senior leaders included Theater Area Air Defense Commander, Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach; INDOPACOM Director of Operations, Navy Rear Admiral John Wade; and Deputy Area Air Defense Commander (DAADC), Brig. Gen Holler.”
As a member of the 94th AAMDC and with a vested interest in his home country of Australia - a pivotal touch-point in the Indo-Pacific region - Evans was pleased with what he viewed during the event.
“As an Australian, it was very refreshing seeing all the candid discussion about the threat in the region and also how there is a lot of will to participate and work together to solve the integrated air and missile defense challenges,” said Evans. “Having the ability to talk to our partners and allies and learn from the lessons they have had through blood, sweat and tears will help us continue to grow as a partner within the Indo-Pacific.”
The event was seen as a success by both the 94th AAMDC and the PIC and plans are being made to continue with the summit in the future.