Pacific Air Forces, Royal Thai Air Force converge for Airman-to-Airman Talks

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  • By Master Sgt. Samuel King

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - Pacific Air Forces hosted Royal Thai Air Force senior leaders at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, as part of a mutual exchange initiative known as Airman-to-Airman Talks, July 24-26.

The purpose of A2ATs is to facilitate discussions between the U.S. and other countries in the region to share best practices and building stronger relationships through collaboration and planning. 

“Our cooperation here expands our ability to deliver air, space and cyberspace capabilities,” said Maj. Gen. Erich Novak, Pacific Air Forces Command Mobility Assistant.  “It encourages our peaceful development, contingency response time and increases our ability to deter aggression in the region.”

The three-day event, now in its 10th year with RTAF, gave the Airmen a chance to find common interests and concerns in the Indo-Pacific, culminating in the development of a future engagement strategy focused on various subject matter expert exchanges and humanitarian assistance exercises.

“The agreed-to-actions reached during the event guarantee our continued strong cooperation and are tailored to our strategic goals,” said Novak.  “The relationship built between our Airmen will not only preserve what we’ve achieved thus far, but steadily progress to an integrated future.”

The Air Force was represented by PACAF Airmen, but also Washington Air National Guard, which has a more than 20-year relationship with Thailand and its’ air force as Thailand’s state partner.  

“This has been a productive partnership for years now and it will endure for many more,” said Brig. Gen. Gent Welsh, Washington ANG commander.

The A2A talks closed with an open-ended discussion between the two forces’ regarding agreed-upon engagements planned for the next year and beyond, as well as a gift exchange demonstrating the commitment to growing the Air Force partnership. 

“These talks created a plan for the future to help make RTAF stronger and better allies,” said Air Marshal Waipote Kerngphark, RTAF Air Staff Deputy Chief.