AUSA Returns to Indo-Pacific for LANPAC

AUSA Returns to Indo-Pacific for LANPAC

Gen. Charles Flynn speaks
Photo by: AUSA/Jared Lieberher

LANPAC, an Association of the U.S. Army-sponsored event focused on the Indo-Pacific, opened May 17 in Honolulu with a clear message of strengthening joint training and cooperation between the U.S. and other nations in the region. 

Gen. Charles Flynn, U.S. Army Pacific commanding general, said the return of the land forces symposium is important after a three-year break because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“We understand each other better when we see each other,” Flynn said. This is the eighth time AUSA has held the popular event that looks at land forces and strategy in a region that is getting growing attention. About 2,000 attended this year’s event. 

“I often refer to the Indo-Pacific as the most consequential region in history,” Flynn said, noting that the region “contains a lot of land” even if the globe shows a region with lots of water. “Through landpower, we protect our nations,” he said, speaking to a standing room only audience.  

“Landpower is special because it is the glue that holds the region’s security architecture together,” Flynn said. “The geostrategic weight of the world continues to concentrate here in Asia and across the Indo-Pacific.” 

There is a lesson for the region from the ongoing fighting in Ukraine. “Wars are long. They are very violent. They are unpredictable, and they are very human,” Flynn said.  

Wars are fought in many domains, “but they are won or lost on land,” he said, adding that the goal of the Indo-Pacific strategy isn’t to win wars but to prevent them. 

“LANPAC is incredibly, incredibly important,” said retired Gen. Bob Brown, AUSA’s president and CEO. No other forum is like it, Brown said of the event attended by representatives from 25 nations. Working together is “a key advantage” to having a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” Brown said. 

“I have been at every LANPAC,” Brown, a former commander of Army Pacific, said, something that qualifies him to predict this year’s event would be “the best LANPAC ever.”

LANPAC also comes as President Joe Biden is planning his first presidential trip to the Indo-Pacific to discuss security and economic issues with leaders in Japan and South Korea and as the Army and DoD have announced plans for more joint training with allies and partners in the region. 

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby announced May 9 that the Army plans to have 15 major joint or multinational exercises from May to September involving “thousands of troops and equipment sets.” Part of the goal is to work through operational and strategic challenges, Kirby said. The first of the series of exercises began May 7 in French Polynesia. The 13-nation exercise continues through May 21, he said.