Friday, January 29, 2010

Cobra Gold Brings Multiple Nations Together for Training

Exercise Cobra Gold (website), in its 29th year, begins Monday, with service members from Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and the U.S. as guests of host Thailand.

Sponsored by PACOM and the Royal Thai Supreme Command, the three-week exercise includes a command post exercise, a series of medical and engineering civic action projects, and joint and combined field training.

Observer Nations

The Command Post exercise focuses on training a Thai, U.S., Singaporean, Indonesian, and Republic of Korean coalition task force. The exercise also includes Japan participating within a United Nations Force (UNF) staff. A team comprised of representatives from Brunei, Chile, China, Germany, Laos, Mongolia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam will observe the command post exercise at the invitation of Thailand.


Among Cobra Gold 10’s objectives is training PACOM’s rapid deployment of a joint task force and subsequent coordination with U.N. forces, with the aim of improving PACOM’s ability to conduct multinational operations and increasing interoperability with partner nations.

“Thailand is one of our closest friends and partners in Asia, as well as being our oldest ally in Asia,” said Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commander, U.S. Army, Pacific, (follow USARPAC on Twitter) who is leading the exercise for the U.S. “The Cobra Gold exercise is the largest multi-lateral joint military exercise in the world.”


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Collaborative Efforts Results in New Facilities, Road in Southern Philippines

A new birthing clinic, elementary school, and a road are among the most recent projects to be completed in the southern Philippines through the cooperative efforts of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and local officials.

On Jan. 14, the school, which will accommodate 250 students, and the road in Sulu province were turned over during a ceremony. The school was constructed primarily by U.S. Navy civil engineers (Seabees) with security provided by AFP Marines. The five-kilometer road was build by local contractors with funding from JSOTF-P.

A birthing center was dedicated in Zamboanga City, also on Jan. 14. The four-room facility will provide low-cost prenatal and postpartum care. The clinic is also designed to accommodate normal deliveries and provide immunizations for young children. Mein College, which is managing the clinic, has a long history of partnership with the AFP and JSOTF-P. “The opening of this clinic will be a huge benefit for the people and families using this facility. But, it is also a victory in Zamboanga in that it represents what is possible when responsible citizens and organizations collaborate for the good of the community,” said JSOTF-P’s Chief of Staff Air Force Lt. Col. David Smith.

A variety of community ogranizations provided support during the two-year development of the birthing center, including the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command, Naval Forces Western Mindanao, and JSOTF-P.

At the request of the Government of the Philippines, JSOTF-P provides support to the AFP in several areas, including enhancing the AFP’s ability to provide humanitarian assistance to terrorist-inflicted communities, and through tactical training programs.For the latest updates on JSOTF-P and it’s collaboration with AFP, follow the command on Twitter, or on its website.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recognizing 50 Years of Partnership between Japan and the United States

“As we celebrate the anniversary of the treaty, we pay tribute to its role in supporting regional security and prosperity, and strengthening our two democracies. Let us now undertake to renew our alliance for the 21st century and enhance the bonds of friendship and common purpose that unite our nations.” President Barack Obama

Today, Jan. 19, marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the U.S. and Japan.

In a statement released by the White House, President Obama said, “The enduring partnership between the United States of America and Japan has helped bring unprecedented prosperity and peace in freedom to our nations. Our alliance has secured extraordinary benefits for the entire Asia Pacific region and made possible the unparalleled progress of the past five decades.”

In an article that appeared in both the International Herald Tribune and Asahi Shimbun, and available on the U.S. Embassy website, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John V. Roos stressed the critical nature of the treaty, signed in Washington in 1960.

“The interests of both the United States and Japan continue to be well served by the alliance,” Ambassador Roos wrote. “The alliance has endured for a half-century precisely because each partner derives benefits from it.”

Secretary of State Clinton, Secretary of Defense Gates, Minister for Foreign Affairs Okada, and Minister of Defense Kitazawa also issued a joint statement, affirming that "the U.S.-Japan Alliance plays an indispensable role in ensuring the security and prosperity of both the United States and Japan, as well as regional peace and stability."

For more on the U.S.-Japan Alliance, visit the U.S. Embassy’s webpage marking the anniversary of the security treaty.

YOKOSUKA, Japan (Jan. 19, 2010) – Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. John M. Bird, and Commander-in-Chief Self Defense Fleet, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), Vice Adm. Masahiko Sugimoto hold commemorative plaques honoring the 50th anniversary of the alliance between the United States and Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Mitchell)


Monday, January 4, 2010

How Social Media Helped PACOM in 2009

This past year, a lot of things have happened within PACOM's Area of Responsibility (AOR).

In the last three months alone, we've seen the value of social media in connecting us with people around the world as we carry out our mission in the Asia-Pacific region. We are thankful for those who have helped us spread the word via retweeting/reposting our messages primarily via Twitter and Facebook, most especially during our Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief operations in the Philippines, Indonesia, and American Samoa, this past October.

While it was good to see how much our daily Disaster Relief Fact sheets and Flickr photos were used and shared online, it was even more amazing to see how people came together in a time of crisis to help each other out.

A picture is truly worth a thousand words, and it’s a great way to show the various activities of our Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy service members around the AOR, such as participating in local community projects and outreach programs, leading or participating in joint military exercises, building relationships and collaborating with other countries to prepare for large-scale natural disasters, sharing best practices with local authorities to promote peace and security, and more recently, spreading the holiday cheer.

We are always moved by the comments that we receive, and we would like to thank our social media friends for amplifying our messages through the “likes” and reposts on Facebook, as well as via the mentions and retweets on Twitter, especially during #militarymonday and #followfriday. We get to hear of your support for our troops (#SOT on Twitter) not just on special occasions but every day!

Social media has definitely helped PACOM in telling stories that are often untold via traditional sources, but more importantly, it has helped us in connecting with you. We have certainly learned a lot, and we are looking forward to learning how we can further develop our social media efforts in 2010.

What are ways in which we can better connect with you this new year? What’s on your mind? We’d love to hear your thoughts!


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