HomeNewsArticle Display

Virtual conference unites 19 air forces on pandemic response

Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, participates in a virtual teleconference call with air chiefs at Headquarters PACAF building on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 29, 2020. Discussion focused on sharing lessons learned regarding COVID-19 response, desires for resuming engagement and exercises in a post COVID world, and a commitment to continued cooperation across the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mikaley Kline)

Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, participates in a virtual teleconference call with air chiefs at Headquarters PACAF building on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 29, 2020. Discussion focused on sharing lessons learned regarding COVID-19 response, desires for resuming engagement and exercises in a post COVID world, and a commitment to continued cooperation across the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mikaley Kline)

Gen. Yoshinari Marumo, Japanese Air Self-Defense Force chief of staff, participates in a virtual teleconference call with air chiefs hosted by Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, at the Headquarters PACAF building on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 29, 2020. The teleconference was intended to increase cooperation with allies and partners in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. (JASDF photo)

Gen. Yoshinari Marumo, Japanese Air Self-Defense Force chief of staff, participates in a virtual teleconference call with air chiefs hosted by Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, at the Headquarters PACAF building on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 29, 2020. The teleconference was intended to increase cooperation with allies and partners in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. (JASDF photo)

Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, participates in a virtual teleconference call with air chiefs at the Headquarters PACAF building on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 29, 2020. The teleconference was intended to increase cooperation with allies and partners in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mikaley Kline)

Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, participates in a virtual teleconference call with air chiefs at the Headquarters PACAF building on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 29, 2020. The teleconference was intended to increase cooperation with allies and partners in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mikaley Kline)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM, Hawaii --

Air chiefs and leadership representing 19 air forces across five continents came together for a video teleconference hosted by Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, here April 29.

“Like the symposium that brought many of us together in person just a few months ago, this gathering is grounded in the shared belief that collaboration is required to meet the global challenges,” he said, reflecting on the Pacific Air Chief Symposium held here Dec. 2 to 6. “From cooperation to conflict and, now, through COVID-19, we remain stronger together.”

Discussion focused on sharing lessons learned regarding COVID-19 response, desires for resuming engagement and exercises in a post COVID world, and a commitment to continued cooperation across the Indo-Pacific region.

“The world is going to be different, how we operate, how we train and how we can connect are going to be different, but opportunities to engage virtually like this and throughout our organizations will be critical in ensuring peace and security in the region,” Brown said.

From sharing words of solidarity, encouragement and support, a resounding theme that emerged was cooperation and communication, both internally and externally, have been critical to any measure of success.

Brown shared PACAF’s focus, aligned under U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s themes of protecting our people, maintaining readiness and assisting the whole of government response, which mirrored much of what others shared during the two-hour session.

“Like many others, we also have paid great attention to the resiliency of our force and our population given the changes in ways we socially connect with each other,” Brown said.

The group also addressed a number of opportunities they have or are pursuing cooperation on, from supply chain support, sharing protocols on transport of patients, to testing and tracing applications.

Additionally, many participants shared they felt some level of preparation due to lessons learned from previous pandemics in the region, while others echoed the importance of their military’s ability to assist in response efforts.

“This virtual meeting of nineteen Air Force leaders really highlighted the importance and agility of air power in support of whole of government efforts to combat COVID-19. It was an extremely timely event for allied and partner sharing and solidarity,” said Brian Woo, PACAF foreign policy advisor.

As travel restrictions remain in effect across the globe, the group agreed to explore more virtual training and engagement opportunities and innovative processes for near and potentially long-term solutions.

“There’s a number of things we can continue to do as we go forward,” Brown said, addressing things like virtual Subject Matter Expert exchanges, or continuing the practice of physically distancing aircrews, while enhancing opportunities to train and integrate in the air.

Participants represented air forces from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, Chile, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States. Due to a scheduling conflict, Brown spoke with the Indian Air Force chief of staff the day prior, and was able to share his inputs with all participants during the VTC.

During their comments, many of the participating leaders also reflected on their visit to Hawaii for PACS, or more recent engagements like the Singapore Air Show in February, where many were still able to meet in person for bilateral, multilateral, or large group settings before travel restrictions were in place.

“At the time, PACS 2019 was considered the most heavily represented event we have hosted to date,” Brown said. “And here we are today, with an equally impressive number attending this virtual gathering. I’m inspired by the continued engagement across this growing network of friends, partners and allies, further validating the interest to find collective solutions to common problems and the commitment we have for each other and the region.”

 

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.