RIMPAC 2008: Asia-Pacific nations collaborate to enhance airpower

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More than 80 participants from 20 nations are meeting to discuss and collaborate during the 2008 Pacific Rim Airpower Symposium July 21 through 25 in Kuala Lumpur.

Hosted by Royal Malaysian air force and U.S. Pacific Air Forces’ 13th Air Force officials, this year’s symposium focuses on early phases of humanitarian assistance disaster relief operations including preparing for future sustained and multinational operations, command relationships, and search and rescue cross agency coordination. 

The Pacific Rim Airpower Symposium encourages the building of relationships and aims to enhance cooperation among the air forces of Pacific nations. Represented in the four-day symposium are delegations from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.

“Through this symposium, we have a great opportunity to share and understand what each nation brings to the battlefield,” said Lt. Gen. Loyd S. “Chip” Utterback, the 13th Air Force commander. “Our greatest capability comes from our ability to plan.”

Symposium briefings and panel discussions include presentations from participating nations that allow representatives to discuss their air force’s unique circumstances, capabilities and challenges. Discussions will lay the foundation for further meetings at a higher level.

Through these type of exchanges, the air forces of the Asia-Pacific region can efficiently work together toward mutually beneficial goals. As participants learn more about each Pacific Rim nation’s unique contribution to regional stability and security, they enhance their understanding of the region’s collective airpower resources and capabilities.

“As a regional partner, we need to be better prepared,” said Royal Malaysian air force Lt. Gen. Dato Rodzali bin Daug, the air operation commander. “Especially in identifying potential disaster areas and stocking up on necessary relief (supplies). We need to respond quickly without being hindered by bureaucratic intricacies.”

Genevieve David (AFPN)

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