Military dignitaries from around the world make stop at Pōhakuloa Training Area
Nearly 30 foreign military attachés and their spouses visited U.S. Army Garrison Pōhakuloa Training Area and Kawaihae Harbor as part of a Headquarters Department of the Army sponsored tour of O‘ahu and the island of Hawai‘i.
The visit, which took place March 4-10, gave the military leaders a firsthand perspective of the U.S. Army Pacific area of operations.
“The most important aspect of this trip is to discuss interoperability, our ability to manage training, and better understand each other,” said Brig. Gen. Aida Borras, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Army G2 in the Pentagon.
Borras added that this visit was a great opportunity to talk about U.S. Army Pacific Commanding General, General Charles Flynn’s, Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability concept and the Pacific area mission in the Indo-Pacific region. The Big Island base plays a critical role for both JPMRC and overall training and readiness for our nation’s service members assigned to the Indo-Pacific region.
Officials at the base say fostering relationships between key allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region is essential to enhancing knowledge about each other reinforcing the land power network.
“We were honored to have our allies and partners and their spouses visit Pōhakuloa Training Area,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin, U.S. Army Garrison – Pōhakuloa Training Area commander. “Having all these allies and partners visit signifies PTA’s critical role as the only U.S. Army installation on the island, it’s strategic location, and critical training support we provide to the U.S. military and Indo-Pacific exercises. Much of the training we conduct here can’t be conducted anywhere else in the region.”
PTA has hosted several Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability exercises in the last several years and trains between 10-15 thousand service members annually.
The nearly 30 foreign Army military attachés come from across the world, including Australia, England, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Republic of Kosovo, Sweden and many more. There were seven generals from Austria, Chile, England, Hungary, Italy, Republic of Lithuania, and Slovakia. Prior to visiting PTA, the group visited several military installations and cultural sites on O‘ahu.
“Military tends to work together so sharing information will help us understand and work together better,” said Lt. Col. Berat Shala, representing the Republic of Kosovo Army. This was his first time visiting the islands and he said, “It’s the paradise of the earth!”
“This was a wonderful opportunity to show our allies and partners firsthand the Pacific’s premier training area. They witnessed the great lengths we take to ensure our nation’s men and women in uniform get the best possible training to be prepared for any contingency that might arise,” said Lt. Col. Cronin. “We’re extremely proud of the training that takes place here, so it was great to share with our allies and partners.”