The Indo-Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference (IPACC) organised by the Indian army with the US Army as the co-host concluded on Wednesday with the 30 participating countries agreeing “to work towards a collaborative effort to address the challenges faced in the region.”
The three-day event took place in the backdrop of increased muscle flexing by China in the Indo-Pacific region.
‘The Army Chiefs and Heads of Delegations had free and frank discussions on the need for an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region that follows a rules based world order. They highlighted that Indo-Pacific has diversity at many levels and all agreed to work towards a collaborative effort to address the challenges faced in the region,’’ according to an official statement issued on Wednesday.
The event achieved the envisaged outcomes such as evolving a shared vision for military cooperation, fostering a sense of collective responsibility, sharing best practices, appreciating areas and communities vulnerable to climate change, synergising approach to disaster relief, increasing military exchange endeavours, progressing defence diplomacy initiatives and reinforcing the importance of open and sustained dialogue to jointly address issues that impact the Indo-Pacific countries, the statement added.
The event provided an opportunity for the delegates to exchange ideas and views on security and other contemporary issues of mutual interest, with core efforts directed to promote ‘peace and stability’ in the Indo-Pacific region.
The event commenced with a call-on by General Randy George, the Chief of Staff of the US Army, to General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Army Staff, Indian Army, on September 25. Both Chiefs discussed issues of mutual interest and shared views on contemporary issues.
General Pande also held bilateral meetings with chiefs of the armies of the participating countries. These included one-to-one discussions with General Morishita Yasunori (Japan), Lieutenant General Simon Stuart (Australia), Lieutenant General Mguyen Doan Anh (Vietnam), Major General John Boswell (New Zealand) and General Sir Patrick Sanders (UK).
Sessions of the Indo-Pacific armies management seminar (IPAMS) were conducted in the plenary sessions on three themes.
The first theme was “Partnering for Sustainable Peace and Security in the Indo-Pacific”. Second theme was “Cooperation to Enhance Interoperability” and the final theme was “Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)- Evolving Mechanisms for Crises Response”.
It emerged during the discussions that the nations need to work together to strengthen the collective responses. This collaborative effort is not built overnight and therefore IPAMS provided the platform to build a connect, confidence and commitment for the future, the official statement said.
The senior enlisted leaders forum (SELF) was conducted in three sessions on the themes, “Interoperability Amongst Indo-Pacific Armies”, “Grooming Junior Leaders for Modern Battlefield” and “Beyond the Barracks- Addressing Senior Enlisted Leaders’ Concerns”. It was a unique forum where junior leaders at the functional level exchanged their views and ideas.
The event culminated with the closing ceremony at the Manekshaw Centre in Delhi on Wednesday.
The conference came to an end with a flag handing over ceremony, as IPACC and IPAMS flags were handed over by the Indian Army to the US Army.