Indo-Pacific Chiefs of Defense, Senior Enlisted Leaders to Meet in Hawaii

National sovereignty, freedom of navigation, open sea lanes and airways, and respect for the rule of law have enabled the nations of the Indo-Pacific region to proper together.

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will join with chiefs of defense and senior enlisted leaders from around the region Sept. 10 for a conference in Hawaii.

“What we’ll be talking about is the military dimension of that free and open Indo-Pacific and where there are opportunities to enhance our cooperation, to enhance our interoperability,” Dunford said about the meeting during an interview here.

The conference also will examine issues such as North Korea and efforts to disrupt the ship-to-ship transfer of oil, he said.

Enforcing Norms and Standards

“We’ll talk about continuing to make sure that we fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows and ask for all nations to help us with regard to enforcing … international norms and standards,” the chairman said.

The chairman said he will have time during the conference to consult with chiefs of defense on these and other pressing matters.

Senior enlisted leaders will also participate. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Anthony Spadaro, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s senior enlisted leader, will host his counterparts. Army Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Troxell, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman, is one of the keynote speakers. The theme for the program is “Strategic Leadership and the Future of Battle 2035.”

The enlisted portion of the annual event is growing from six in 2016 to 20 this year. “We are covering the linkages of geographic space that we all operate in parallel with partners across the globe,” Spadaro said in a note.

These personal military-to-military contacts are important, the chairman said, noting that he will hold a number of bilateral engagements during the conference.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)