U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force co-hosted the annual Pacific Amphibious Leaders Symposium (PALS) 2022 event, in Tokyo, Japan, June 13-16.
For the first time since 2019, this event was held in person and brought together senior leaders from 18 participating delegations from across the Indo-Pacific, Central America, South America, and Europe. PALS-22 marked the eighth iteration of the event established in 2015 that brings together senior leaders with the objective of maintaining and developing relationships and having a meaningful dialogue on key aspects of maritime and amphibious operations. This year’s theme was “Amphibious Forces’ Contribution in Supporting Peace and Stability in the Indo-Pacific.”
Chilean Navy Vice Admiral Pablo Niemann Figari, general director of Logistics, represented Chile in this annual gathering of regional amphibious forces and served as one of four panelist for the “Contested Logistics” discussion. During this panel Vice Adm. Niemann provided context for the importance that the Pacific plays in the protection of Chile’s sovereignty and national interests, as well as insights to logistical challenges that the country with a coastline of nearly 4,000 miles faces in maintaining secure and open sea lines of communication, which the country depends on. Additionally, he acknowledged the importance of venues like PALS for bringing partners together to discuss key topics and develop enduring relationships.
“It is of strategic value and interest that navies like ours, like-minded navies, work in a cooperative way to ensure the safety and stability of the global commons,” said Vice Adm. Niemann. “As world events unfold in the future, and if called upon, these relationships, common understandings, and trust that we have built will pay dividends making us stronger and more effective.”
Chile, along with Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia, have common interests and shared equities in the security and stability of the Pacific region. All with coastlines bordering the Pacific Ocean, they have unique skills and capabilities that help provide regional strength to our partners in the Indo-Pacific. Colombia for example is an expert in riverine operations and can provide valuable training, mentorship, and support to countries throughout the Pacific on littoral maneuver and coastal defense.
Chile specifically has an extremely capable and professional naval force with the ability to project power and conduct activities across the range of military operations. The Chilean Navy and naval infantry will participate again in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 to continue to build interoperability and support the vision of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
Throughout the symposium, participants shared ideas, best practices, and recent experiences with amphibious operations. They collaborated on common interests and engaged in meaningful dialogue to advance amphibious interoperability and crisis response capabilities.
“It is significant to have naval leaders like Chile in the room and at the table representing the Western Hemisphere and the inter-connected reality of maritime threats across the Pacific,” said Lieutenant Colonel Fred Ingo III, incoming operations officer, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South. “No nation can overcome the myriad of challenges in the Indo-Pacific single-handedly, thus amphibious forces from across partner nations, both in and outside the Indo-Pacific region, must be interoperable and interchangeable.”