Military leaders from the U.S. and the Republic of Korea gathered at Osan Air Base, South Korea, June 13-14 to discuss airpower strategies in the Pacific region.
The bilateral air boss conference is an annual conference that combined 120 leaders from the U.S. Air Force, Marines, Army and ROK to make up the air component team covering a wide range of topics relevant to airpower in the theater of operations, explained Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, the 7th Air Force commander.
Jouas and Korean air force Lt. Gen. Park Shin Kyu, the ROK Air Force Operations Command commander, led the conference and provided opening remarks.
“This is truly a great team we have here,” Jouas said. “You can take a look around the room and see there are a lot of people who were here before (last year) and some that weren’t. But this is about building this team in 2012.”
The conference brings together commanders from around the Pacific, and they work on how to divvy up forces during a potential crisis or conflict. Another goal is to network and understand allies who would be working side-by-side in a combined environment.
Although a majority of the service members in attendance are Airmen, operating in a joint environment is important, explained Jouas, who encouraged all members to get involved.
“It’s not a prerequisite to be an Airman,” Jouas said. “Everyone is important to this team in how we get the mission done. Do not walk away unless you are satisfied with the plans, the people and in how we are fighting this war.”
The most important part about coming together, according to Jouas, is about the team work. The personal relationships that are built during the conference can determine the success of the mission.
The conference affords the opportunity for leaders around the Pacific to bring their expertise to the table, learn from each other and take advantage of a forum to further integrate all organizations to make it a seamless effort.
“We are happy to be working side-by-side again,” Kyu said. “You have said everything I would have,” he said of Jouas.
“As we say in Korea, ‘katchi kapshi da’ (We go together),” Jouas said. “I am deeply appreciative that you all get to spend the next few days with us. Let’s make the most of it.”