Land Power ‘Binds’ Together Indo-Pacific Security

Land Power ‘Binds’ Together Indo-Pacific Security

Gen Flynn speaks at a lectern
Photo by: AUSA/Jared Lieberher

In remarks to open the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2024 LANPAC Symposium and Exposition, the commander of U.S. Army Pacific emphasized the importance of land power in a region often considered a maritime domain.

“Land power is the security architecture that binds this region together,” Gen. Charles Flynn said May 14. “While all forms of military power are important in this region, land power is often overlooked or just discounted.”

In reality, land power—and the strategic land power network of the U.S. and its allies and partners working together—“represents the greatest counterweight to every adversary action,” Flynn said.

AUSA’s LANPAC Symposium and Exposition kicked off May 14 at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu. The theme of the three-day event is “Campaigning with Landpower.”

Speaking to a packed conference room, Flynn described the growing partnerships and cooperation he’s seen in the region over the past 10 years.

“When I look back over a decade, I can see the changes,” he said. “We comprise something very special. We are the regional land force who collaborates on all matters involving defense and security. I didn’t fully realize the depth of this more than a decade ago, but these relationships, these bonds, they matter.”

Representatives from nearly 30 countries around the world are attending LANPAC, including 13 chiefs of army, Flynn said. “The fact that we have nearly 30 armies from five continents represented here sends a distinct message,” he said. “I’m here to remind everyone listening that our role is vital and central to success.”

The U.S. and its allies and partners have a shared purpose, Flynn said. “Together, we have to solve the most pressing challenges facing our nations in this most consequential region in this most consequential time,” he said. “We all share common interests, and we have an immense responsibility to serve the greater good.”

The strategic land power network is vital to the region’s security and prosperity, he said. It denies the “incremental, insidious and irresponsible behavior of authoritarian regimes,” and it protects “our people” living in a tumultuous environment, Flynn said.

Together, “we must achieve a lasting peace,” he said. He added, “Our foremost duty is to best prepare our formations to defeat any threat in whatever form it may take.”

The region may be named after two oceans, but “there’s a lot of land here,” Flynn said. “The land areas of the region represent a quarter of the world’s land mass,” he said, plus the bulk of the world’s population and several of its megacities.

“Armies exist to operate on the land,” Flynn said. “These are the areas we call home, where our families live, our friends live, where our neighbors reside. We, the armies, are responsible for defending all of it.”

Land power also integrates the combined and joint force, Flynn said. “All branches of our militaries are dependent on land and will always return to land,” he said. “Ships require ports. Planes need airfields. Satellite communications with ground terminals and even cyber effects demand terrestrial-based infrastructure.”

As the U.S. Army looks to the future, it cannot do it alone, Flynn said. Working with allies and partners, “our foremost task must be to preserve the peace,” he said.

The region’s shared history “reminds us of the terrible outcomes when armies fail, when we are not prepared,” Flynn said. “Conflict will always be part of our past, but it need not be part of our future. To prevail, we must learn from our history, we must train, lead and ready our forces together with the highest resolve. To prevail, we must work together.”