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PACAF senior leaders discuss readiness, posture at spring conference

Commanders, Command Chiefs and Directors from across the Pacific Air Forces area of responsibility pose for a photo in the Courtyard of Heroes during the spring commander’s conference at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, 18 April 2019. The commander’s conference gave attendees the chance to discuss challenges and opportunities to succeed in an era of great power competition. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Hailey Haux)

Commanders, Command Chiefs and Directors from across the Pacific Air Forces area of responsibility pose for a photo in the Courtyard of Heroes during the spring commander’s conference at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, 18 April 2019. The commander’s conference gave attendees the chance to discuss challenges and opportunities to succeed in an era of great power competition. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Hailey Haux)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --

Commanders, command chiefs and directors from across the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) area of responsibility attended the spring commander’s conference April 16-19, here.

Themed “Posturing PACAF for Success in an Era of Great Power Competition,” the conference was designed to bring together senior leaders to discuss the many opportunities and challenges throughout the AOR, as well as strengthen lines of communication in a rapidly changing environment.

“The whole idea is to raise our game…to raise our thinking on a number of issues,” said Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., PACAF commander, who challenged the group to think about how to use innovation and embrace change in order to posture for the future in challenging times. “This is not a fantasy, we must be ready today, and ready ten years from now. We may not be here to execute it all, but we have got to put it on the right path.”

Since the fall conference, the command began to forge that path by renewing its mission, vision and priorities, with the focus on being “ready, resilient and postured for the future.” 

Day one also addressed updates to the command’s Agile Combat Employment operating concept, and included a historical “terrain walk” to reflect on the many lessons that may have direct application today. Day two focused on innovation and experimentation, multi-domain command and control, theater logistics and conditions based authorities.  Day three focused on the role of the team, from manpower to integration with allies, partners and the joint force.

Day four wrapped up the week-long conference with a discussion on congressional relationships, ethics and an even broader focus on Airmen and Family resiliency.

The resiliency discussion provided an opportunity for commanders to share challenges, identify common issues, and discuss innovative solutions. 

The command is looking into a number of initiatives to improve access to care, from embedding professionals in units to simply raising awareness on telehealth opportunities, or ensuring greater leadership focus on the resiliency. 

The goals are to empower leaders and Airmen to increase morale, cohesion, and readiness by recognizing when Airmen need help, decrease barriers to help-seeking, and create a culture in which Airmen and their families thrive.

“We’ve got to set the model for our Airmen and families,” Brown said in regards to ensuring leaders focus as much on taking care of their Airmen as themselves and their families.