LANPAC Begins Amid Growing Indo-Pacific Competition

LANPAC Begins Amid Growing Indo-Pacific Competition

LANPAC 2022 logo
Photo by: U.S. Army and AUSA

The Association of the U.S. Army’s LANPAC Symposium and Exposition in Honolulu begins May 17 as the Army continues to grow its partnerships in the region and world leaders grapple with evolving challenges in the Indo-Pacific.

“We have not taken our eye off of the pacing challenge of China in the Indo-Pacific,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said May 10 during a hearing before the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee. “Through Operation Pacific Pathways, we have deployed thousands of Army forces and equipment sets to the region for exercises that strengthen joint force integration, demonstrate combat capability and promote interoperability.”

The Army also in the past two years has sent 40 teams of advisers from the 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade to 14 countries in the region to build relationships and train partner armies, she said.

During LANPAC, which will take place May 17–19 at the Sheraton Waikiki, U.S. and foreign military leaders will discuss Indo-Pacific security issues. 

There will be keynote addresses by U.S. Army and partner army leaders, including Gen. Charles Flynn, commander of U.S. Army Pacific; Lt. Gen. Richard Burr, chief of Army for the Australian Army; Gen. SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, chief of Army staff for the Bangladesh Army; and Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood, director of hypersonics, directed energy, space and rapid acquisition for the U.S. Army.

There also will be panel discussions featuring military, industry and academic experts. Topics include the role of land forces in deterrence, training in the Indo-Pacific, multidomain operations, preparing for future challenges, and integrated air and missile defense.

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The Army has slowly been growing its Pathways program—which is a series of exercises across the Indo-Pacific—and is investing $1.4 billion to support the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the joint force, Wormuth said.

“We are trying to make sure that we have Army presence in the theater up to about six months a year,” she said. These troops demonstrate “combat credible forces in the region,” and the exercises give the Army a chance to expand its logistics capabilities, she said.

In June alone, U.S. soldiers will train in Singapore, Malaysia, Guam, Mongolia and Hawaii, with exercises in Australia, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan, Fiji and India planned through October.

The Pathways program helps the Army strengthen its ties in the region, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said.

“We get to work very, very closely with those who share similar interests,” he said. “It gets our troops into the various countries that we want to work with. … And … having strong allies and partners that work together, that trained together in a scrimmage, if you will, is what makes us much better when it comes time to actually have to go to combat.”