Multinational training involving multidomain warfare is critical to security and deterrence in the Indo-Pacific, panelists said May 18 at the Association of the U.S. Army’s LANPAC Symposium and Exposition.
Gen. Datuk Seri Mohammad Ab Rahman, chief of the Malaysian army, said advanced technology and tactics are now critical parts of modern warfare. Greater cooperation is required “at all levels” to face new scenarios, he said. There is great value in joint training opportunities, especially when information-sharing is part of the training experience, he said.
South Korea’s military is planning platoon-level international exercises to teach partners to train and fight together. South Korea Gen. Ahn Byung-Seok, deputy commander of the Combined Forces Command, said joint training needs to concentrate on both hard power and soft power. Speaking through a translator, he said land forces will be operating in a multidomain environment and must train for this by focusing on agility and flexibility while integrating manned and unmanned systems.
He specifically called for the expansion of U.S. and South Korean training opportunities.
Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner, commanding general of the Philippine army, agreed that there is an important value to international engagement from like-minded nations. Partners become stronger by working together, and potential adversaries could be deterred by the “united front” shown by partners in the exercises, he said.
It’s unlikely any one nation could deter a war by itself, said Lt. Gen. James Jarrard, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific. Instead, the region needs to be focused on joint operations, he said.
To prepare for such threats, allies and partners need to focus on large-scale exercises, Jarrard said. Such training is expensive but vital to growing the scale and scope of capabilities and readiness required to deter aggression.
“We will never deter war by ourselves,” he said. “It must be multilateral.”
Australian Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Simon Stuart said it is important to “train as you will fight and fight as you train.” He also stressed that Indo-Pacific partners will never operate alone. “We are all part of one team,” he said. “We all have a contribution to make.”