US Corps commander, Vietnamese General discuss Pacific rebalance
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) is committed to strengthening alliances and partnerships in the Asia-Pacific, an area of the world America’s Corps has been called upon to support.
“As we work closely with partners across the U.S. government and in the region to address shared challenges and prevent conflict, we will ensure we are ready to respond rapidly and effectively across the full range of military operations,” said Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, USPACOM commander, in a statement on the strategic approach to the Asia-Pacific.
Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, I Corps commander, briefed Senior Lt. Gen. Do Ba Ty, chief of the general staff, Vietnam People’s Army, on I Corps’ rebalance in the Pacific during his visit to Joint Base Lewis-McChord June 18.
Ty, who is also the vice minister of the National Defense of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and senior military leaders from Vietnam toured JBLM facilities to gain an understanding of the rebalance in the Pacific and home station training for the Stryker brigades.
“We want to shift to Southeast Asia. This is where we have not been able to be because we’ve been involved in other places in the world,” said Brown during the rebalance briefing at I Corps Headquarters. “This would be the Army’s portion of rebalance: more forces in Southeast Asia to work together with great partners like you.”
Brown showed the senior leaders a map with seven stars, each indicating a major joint exercise taking place this year. The joint exercises are currently conducted in Yakima Training Center, Australia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Hawaii.
“What would be great is to add a star right there in Vietnam,” said Brown.
He said a key to the future is to be able to train together, whether it’s Vietnamese soldiers training here, vice versa, or both.
By becoming regionally situated, Ty asked whether or not the United States would look to have any influence over domestic affairs.
Brown assured him the purpose of rebalancing is not to interfere with or influence domestic affairs in the region, but rather to operate strictly in a military context with the goal of growing close relationships intended to prevent conflict.
The United States has been strengthening the partnership with Vietnam and provides assistance to include strengthening the country’s health and education systems and ensuring sustainable economic development.
“It’s nothing that nations working together can’t solve and resolve,” said Brown addressing possible threats such as piracy, terrorism, and natural disasters.
Although a major joint exercise between the U.S. and Vietnam is not in the near future, the meeting concluded with the possibility of more training conducted together, such as peacekeeping and medical exercises.
“The more we can do together, the better for both of our militaries and both of our nations,” said Brown.