Story by Staff Sgt. Brandon McIntosh, U.S. Army Pacific Public Affairs Office, "40th Pacific Armies Management Seminar Comes to an end in Kuala Lumpur," dvidshub.net
“Nations need to understand the root causes of violent extremism, which exploit the fault lines that are created by religious, race and socioeconomic differences,” said Malaysian Minister of Defense, Datuk Seri Hishmuddin, in his remarks, Sept. 26 during the PAMS opening ceremony.
Co-hosted by U.S Army Pacific and the Malaysian Armed Forces, this year’s theme was “Unity of Effort: Building Civil-Military Partnerships to Counter Violent Extremism.”
Over the past four days, leaders from the U.S., Malaysian and 28 other armies from across the region conducted various events including syndicate sessions, three large scale plenary discussions, multinational engagements and cultural understanding events. The forum not only furthers understanding of subjects studied, but is also an opportunity to establish and enhance a set of strong interpersonal relationships among the future leaders of regional armies and security forces.
Leaders involved in the syndicate and plenary discussions kept Hishmuddin’s comments in mind as they approached each of their topics from a less traditional approach. Ultimately arriving at many of the same conclusions, the groups overwhelmingly concluded that through partnership with each other and effective communication and preparation they can eventually eliminate violent extremism in the region.
“There is no question that this is the most successful PAMS ever,” said General Robert B. Brown, commander, U.S. Army Pacific and PAMS co-host. “Everyone is leaving here with an idea that this is a whole of society effort to get after defeating violent extremism.”
The U.S. Army Pacific and Malaysian Armed Forces are committed to promoting interoperability between the two armed forces. Events such as PAMS promote the long-term planning and preparedness, enhances the building of relationships, and promotes training between armies, allowing the U.S. to maintain regional peace through such engagements.
“We have fulfilled the objectives of the seminar and produced very relevant outcomes,” said Lieutenant General Dato’ Sri Zulkiple, Field Commander West, Malaysian Army and PAMS co-host. “I do hope that our effort will not end here as violent extremism keeps evolving and it’s threats expose themselves to mankind everyday.”
The United States is dedicating significant diplomatic, public diplomacy, military, and foreign assistance resources to the Asia-Pacific region to facilitate economic growth and development, energy cooperation, education linkages, and security ties as part of its ongoing rebalance to the region.
Next year, the Republic of Korea will co-host the 41st PAMS in addition to the 10th Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference, known as PACC.
“It is significant and meaningful that the Republic of Korea will be the venue for regional countries to exchange their views on common efforts and cooperation against increasing non-traditional threats,” said Brigadier General Dong Jin Geon, commander, 13th Special Force Brigade, Republic of Korea Army and co-host for PAMS 2017 on his country playing host to the seminar next year.
PAMS is the largest theater security and cooperation event co-hosted by U.S. Army Pacific in terms of country participation and the role of co-host rotates to a different partner nation annually.