JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --
Maj. Gen. Russ Mack, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) deputy commander, spoke to civic leaders during the Hawaii Military Affairs Council (MAC) annual meeting and partnership conference Jan. 12, 2018, at the Hawaii State Capitol.
The MAC is a group comprised of business leaders and retired U.S. flag and general officers who advocate and act as liaisons with the military commands on the Hawaiian Islands.
“Each of you represents important sectors of our community, and I am grateful to have such strong and capable partners,” Mack said. “I am confident that our discussions will provide insights into the way we think about our roles as civic leaders and how we can work together to ensure our community remains safe and prosperous in the years to come.”
Mack’s speech offered an understanding of the PACAF perspective on the Indo-Pacific region to the civic leaders. He emphasized how the military’s presence and actions are greatly benefited by the civic leaders and their support.
“By combining our strengths, we can continue advancing our objectives in meaningful ways and for the benefit of our shared communities,” Mack said. “We are grateful for everything you do to support our service members and families here in Hawaii, and we remain ready to defend our island, the region and our nation when called. Our relationship serves as an example for other nations on the criticality of strong civil-military partnerships.”
Topics from Mack’s speech included the importance of the Indo-Pacific, current and long term threats, the importance of maintaining U.S. commitments to allies and partners, securing the military advantage, and the need for strong civilian to military partnerships.
The MAC and local military leaders discussed challenges and concerns with breakout sessions focusing on cyber security, protecting Hawaii, private and public partnership, and military contracts for jobs in the future.
“The military community touches all islands and is an integral part of our social fabric,” said David Ige, Hawaii State Govenor. “We stand together in caring for the homeless, repairing infrastructure and serving the community.”
U.S. Navy Adm. Harry Harris, commander of Pacific Command, wrapped up the day thanking those in attendance for their continued support and highlighted the continued importance of the Hawaiian Islands.
“You’ve set a great foundation for your military to operate, and I know that leaders like you will continue to support our national interests as you work to protect and preserve the military’s presence here in Hawaii,” Harris said.