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PACAF hosts Chinese officers for exchange

  • Published
  • By Maj. Phil Ventura
  • Headquarters Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs
Officers from the U.S. Air Force hosted a dozen of their naval, army, and air force counterparts from China at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Oct. 18, to share perspectives and discuss mechanisms to maintain peace and stability throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The mid-level officer exchange featured a command-level briefing, a tour of the Headquarters Pacific Air Forces Courtyard of Heroes and a facilitated, open dialogue between the two Pacific nations.

“Events like this are important opportunities for us to discuss issues of mutual importance and concern,” said Col. Art Primas, PACAF’s International Affairs division chief.

Topics raised included the culture of aviation safety and maritime law, rules of behavior implementation, and how to avoid miscalculations between militaries.

Beyond current topics, participants were reminded of the history shared between the air forces of the two countries stretching back to the formation of the famed “Flying Tigers” in 1941. Today, the contributions of the brave American and Chinese aviators are enshrined in museums in both Hawaii and Beijing.

The exchange, hosted by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, also included visits to U.S. Pacific Command Headquarters. Following their Hawaii visit, the group is scheduled to travel to Washington, D.C. Beyond the most recent exchange, engagements between the U.S. and Chinese armed forces in 2016 have included: the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific tour of China in July; a military maritime consultative agreement working group meeting in May at Headquarters, U.S. Pacific Fleet; and a visit to PACAF from the People’s Liberation Army Air Force Command College in April.

“Today I am very pleased to come here with my colleagues,” said Senior Col. Hua Bo, the senior officer in charge of the Chinese delegation. “It is the first time here for nearly all of us and I’d like to express our gratitude.”