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Senior U.S. Air Force leaders from across the globe are in Hawaii this week to discuss the Pacific region’s war-fighting capabilities and lessons learned during the ongoing war on terror.

Pacific Air Forces Commander, Gen. Paul V. Hester, is hosting the first-ever PACAF war-fighting conference — three days of meetings, discussions and briefings on the future of war-fighting in the Pacific and how to better integrate airmen into operations, according to a PACAF news release.

The conference, at Hickam Air Force Base, began Wednesday.

Capt. Dave Faggard, a PACAF spokesman, said the meetings give Hester — who took command of PACAF this summer — an opportunity to inform commanders of his vision for the Pacific.

“He’s expressing the capabilities and limitations that could be out there associated with combat operations,” Faggard said.

According to PACAF officials, the conference focuses on: the employment of air and space power in the Pacific; the perceived capabilities, limitations and employment considerations associated with operations; and the ongoing war on terror and area air defense operations in the Pacific.

The military is looking at beefing up war-fighting assets in the Pacific region. A senior PACAF official recently told the newsletter “Inside The Air Force” that PACAF is planning to permanently base intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, strike and refueling assets at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as part of a Pacific Command “ISR strike task force.” The plan includes basing fighter aircraft at Andersen, according to the report.

Faggard said that Adm. Thomas B. Fargo, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, will present his perspective on the evolving role of air and space power in PACOM at the conference.

Airmen with recent combat experience will discuss their experiences in the field, Faggard said.

“This is really a time for the commanders to get together and learn from each other,” he said. They’ll discuss “practices, techniques and lessons learned” and share that information with airmen in their units.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
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