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Enhancing partnerships through joint education

Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) participants work together to complete a group activity during the first U.S. led JELF at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 10. 2016. The forum allowed participants to share experiences about leadership, further strengthening U.S. alliances and partnerships across the Pacific.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) participants work together to complete a group activity during the first U.S. led JELF at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 10. 2016. The forum allowed participants to share experiences about leadership, further strengthening U.S. alliances and partnerships across the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) participants exchange ideas during a group activity at the first U.S. led JELF on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 10. 2016. The forum allowed participants to share experiences about leadership, further strengthening U.S. alliances and partnerships across the Pacific.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) participants exchange ideas during a group activity at the first U.S. led JELF on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 10. 2016. The forum allowed participants to share experiences about leadership, further strengthening U.S. alliances and partnerships across the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) participants pose for a group photo during the first U.S. led JELF at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 10. 2016. The forum allowed participants to share experiences about leadership, further strengthening U.S. alliances and partnerships across the Pacific.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) participants pose for a group photo during the first U.S. led JELF at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 10. 2016. The forum allowed participants to share experiences about leadership, further strengthening U.S. alliances and partnerships across the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

Tech. Sgt. Yuki Kawagoe, a pararescue jumper with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Akita Air Station, Air Rescue Wing, Japan, completes the "True Colors" self-assessment during the first U.S. led, Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 8. 2016. The JASDF represented one of the 11 different countries that came together to share experiences and to gain valuable insight on leadership, further developing U.S. alliances and partnerships across the Pacific.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

Tech. Sgt. Yuki Kawagoe, a pararescue jumper with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Akita Air Station, Air Rescue Wing, Japan, completes the "True Colors" self-assessment during the first U.S. led, Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 8. 2016. The JASDF represented one of the 11 different countries that came together to share experiences and to gain valuable insight on leadership, further developing U.S. alliances and partnerships across the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

During the first U.S. led, Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF), participants complete the "True Colors" self-awareness activity at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 8. 2016. The assessment enables individuals to become aware of their personality styles, providing the framework needed to explore different leadership styles. The forum allowed participants to share experiences about leadership, further strengthening alliances and partnerships across the Pacific.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

During the first U.S. led, Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF), participants complete the "True Colors" self-awareness activity at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 8. 2016. The assessment enables individuals to become aware of their personality styles, providing the framework needed to explore different leadership styles. The forum allowed participants to share experiences about leadership, further strengthening alliances and partnerships across the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Horn (left), the Air University command chief at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., participates in a brain teaser during the first U.S. led Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 10. 2016. A U.S. Soldier and Airmen from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Maldives, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and the United States came together during the JELF to share experiences and to gain valuable insight on leadership development in order to grow as tomorrow's senior enlisted leaders.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Horn (left), the Air University command chief at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., participates in a brain teaser during the first U.S. led Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 10. 2016. A U.S. Soldier and Airmen from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Maldives, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and the United States came together during the JELF to share experiences and to gain valuable insight on leadership development in order to grow as tomorrow's senior enlisted leaders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Horn, the Air University command chief at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., briefs joint warfighter concepts during the first U.S. led, Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 10. 2016. A U.S. Soldier and Airmen from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Maldives, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and the United States came together during the JELF to share experiences and to gain valuable insight on leadership development in order to grow as tomorrow's senior enlisted leaders.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Horn, the Air University command chief at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., briefs joint warfighter concepts during the first U.S. led, Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 10. 2016. A U.S. Soldier and Airmen from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Maldives, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and the United States came together during the JELF to share experiences and to gain valuable insight on leadership development in order to grow as tomorrow's senior enlisted leaders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

During the first U.S. led, Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF), participants complete the "True Colors" self-awareness activity at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 8. 2016. The assessment enables individuals to become aware of their personality styles, providing the framework needed to explore different leadership styles. The forum allowed participants to share experiences about leadership, further strengthening alliances and partnerships across the Pacific.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

During the first U.S. led, Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF), participants complete the "True Colors" self-awareness activity at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 8. 2016. The assessment enables individuals to become aware of their personality styles, providing the framework needed to explore different leadership styles. The forum allowed participants to share experiences about leadership, further strengthening alliances and partnerships across the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Horn, the Air University command chief master sergeant at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., briefs service members during the first U.S. led, Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 8. 2016. The participants came together from 11 different countries to share experiences and to gain valuable insight on leadership development in order to grow as tomorrow's senior enlisted leaders.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Horn, the Air University command chief master sergeant at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., briefs service members during the first U.S. led, Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 8. 2016. The participants came together from 11 different countries to share experiences and to gain valuable insight on leadership development in order to grow as tomorrow's senior enlisted leaders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ryuta Riecke, left, a linguist assigned to the 8th Intelligence Squadron at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, translates for Japan Air Self-Defense Force Tech. Sgt. Satoshi Kushida, center, during a leadership activity at the first U.S. led, Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 8. 2016. The service members came together from 11 different countries to share experiences and to gain valuable insight on leadership development in order to grow as tomorrow's senior enlisted leaders.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ryuta Riecke, left, a linguist assigned to the 8th Intelligence Squadron at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, translates for Japan Air Self-Defense Force Tech. Sgt. Satoshi Kushida, center, during a leadership activity at the first U.S. led, Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum (JELF) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug 8. 2016. The service members came together from 11 different countries to share experiences and to gain valuable insight on leadership development in order to grow as tomorrow's senior enlisted leaders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kamaile Chan)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --

Does more stripes equate to more influence?

For about 20 U.S. and international junior enlisted members, these questions and many more were answered during the first U.S.-led Pacific Rim Junior Enlisted Leadership Forum held here Aug. 8 through 12.

During the five-day conference, Airmen and a Soldier from the U.S., and junior enlisted airmen from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Maldives, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore participated in discussions that allowed participants to share their experiences in leadership and learn more effective ways to lead in their organizations.

The conference also included team building activities, guided lessons and senior leader briefings and panels. The activities incorporated some of the principles familiar to those who have completed one or several levels of Air Force Professional Military Education.

"The professional development of our junior enlisted Airmen and Soldiers is important and in this forum they are provided with valuable information and tools, with the focus being on international leadership development to further their growth as tomorrow's senior enlisted leaders," said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Buddy Hutchison, Pacific Air Forces command chief. 

Hand-picked by their leadership, the multinational participants were able to bring their knowledge and experiences to the conference which enabled them to further strengthen alliances and partnerships in the Pacific.

"Diversity is so important in our militaries today," said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Horn, Air University command chief and senior enlisted host of the conference. "Joint integration of our international militaries does not happen often enough, or early enough in any given service member's career, so this forum provides a great opportunity for them to gain some leadership tools, to see the bigger picture and to understand how they fit in.”

Attendees discussed leadership with a variety of speakers including U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Craig Wills., the PACAF Strategy, Plans, and Programs director, who was able to share his leadership experiences from an officer’s perspective. 

"Generals are not the most important people in an organization; they are the most visible, and often get the glory, but the real strength of our Air Force is our NCO's and Airmen,” Wills said. “Our front-line supervisors are the most important part of our Air Force. They make the mission happen; they train our Airmen; and they take care of our families. Without great junior NCO's, we won't have an Air Force."

Video portions of the conference advised the attendees to be actively involved with their people and to focus less on how many stripes they have and more on being as effective as they can with their stripes.

Philippine Air Force Sgt. Bernard Magpantay, Promotion Branch NCO in charge, put these leadership tips in to perspective for his peers.

“As an NCO, I understand that it is no longer about me,” he said.  “My job now is to prepare those below me, so they are prepared to take my place in the future.”

Horn hosted this iteration of the JELF along with Warrant Officer of the Royal New Zealand Air Force Mark Harwood, who will be hosting the next JELF which will be in New Zealand.