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Pacific nations meet to enhance airpower cooperation

9/21/2007 - HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii -- Forty-three participants from 17 nations met here for four days of discussion and interaction Sept. 17 to 21during the Pacific Rim Airpower Symposium.

PACRIM endeavors to build and enhance cooperation among the air forces of Pacific nations. 

Hosted by Pacific Air Forces' 13th Air Force, this year's symposium focused on aviation safety and mishap prevention, and, for the first time, included a noncommissioned officer professional development program.

"The addition of the NCO program in this year's PACRIM is significant," said Lt. Gen. Loyd S. "Chip" Utterback, the 13th Air Force commander and host of the event.

"I can't overstate how critical it is to have a professional, highly-trained corps of NCOs supporting the flying mission," the general said. "Our NCO corps is truly the backbone of our Air Force."

Symposium briefings and discussions included presentations from participating nations that allowed representatives to discuss their air force's unique circumstances, capabilities and challenges. PACRIM discussions lay the foundation for further meetings at a higher level.

Through such exchanges, the air forces of the Asia-Pacific region can more 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.

"We share a vested interest in employing combined air forces to overcome the tyranny of distance within the region to respond quickly and decisively to any crisis situation," General Utterback said. "From the partnerships formed here and furthered through participation in exercises and operations throughout the Asia-Pacific region, we can better promote regional priorities."

Represented in the four-day symposium were delegations from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United States. 

Representatives from Australia, Brunei, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States participated in the NCO development program.

"The PACRIM Airpower Symposium provides a great opportunity for us to interface with many of the nations we work with in peacetime and will want to work with during crises," said General Utterback. "We are fully engaged and will continue to be engaged in the Pacific."



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