Army chiefs of the US, UK and Australia meet in Hawaiʻi
Army chiefs from the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom met Monday to discuss land operations in the Indo-Pacific ahead of the Land of the Pacific Conference, which focuses on the unique operations and capabilities of this area.
"So much of the world's trade and the future economy comes from this region," British Chief of the General Staff Gen. Patrick Sanders said Monday. "We've got altruistic interests, and we've got national interests that we want to try and support as well. We recognize that this part of the world is critical to the future of the world global stability."
While the Indo-Pacific is typically known for maritime operations, land forces offer a different perspective, and to Sanders, that's persistence.
"We're on land where people live and where wars are ultimately settled," Sanders said. "We're able to develop close relationships with a range of allies and partners in the region, and help them improve their own capabilities, we learn equally from them."
Hawaiʻi, in the scheme of things, acts as another hub serving with the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and other training opportunities.
Expansion and development of partnerships across the expansive Indo-Pacific region won't happen singularly in silos.
Already, the U.S., U.K. and Australia make up a naval partnership called AUKUS, which has mainly focused on the expansion of submarine warfare.
"When you look across the Indo-Pacific, and the militaries that are important in the lives and the economies and the politics of the region, it's mainly armies," Chief of the Australian Army Lt. Gen. Simon Stuart said.
"Having those long-standing relationships means that we can create understanding, we can create cooperation, and we can enhance the value of partnerships," Stuart said.
For U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, the Army’s Project Convergence is an example of the three nation's land forces already working together. The training focuses on specific Indo-Pacific potential conflicts, and most recently expanded to include Australia and the U.K. as international partners.
"We’re recognizing the importance of air and missile defense. Because again, we're going to see a lot of that and especially with unmanned aerial systems and lethal drones," McConville said.
McConville said this training offers practical lessons in war-time operations on the ground.
"We're also understanding the importance of contested logistics," McConville said. "You take a look at the distances that we have out here, logistics become extremely important. Many of our weapons systems do not operate without fuel, without parts, without ammunitions, and so that is something that we've seen play out in Ukraine."
Stuart said there’s still more to be done in each country and in the region.
"We can't possibly cover all the ground by ourselves, and increasingly working with other partners in our own governments, whether that's law enforcement, whether that's trade, whether that's economy, and making sure that we're supporting our diplomats in doing their job," Stuart said.
"There's a lot of ground to cover. We work as part of a team and we offer very, very significant utility when it comes to using the most military instrument of national power," he said.