The 11th annual Honolulu Leadership Dialogue (HLD) was held at a pivotal time for the Indo-Pacific region. Commencing on 30 September 2018, the HLD began with a celebration of 100 years of Australian-American Mateship; the anniversary of the first time our troops fought side by side in an offensive action at the Battle of Hamel on France’s Western Front. The deep commitment of our two nations was reinforced continuously in Hawaii, where Australians and Americans work together at US Indo-Pacific Command and in think-tanks on strategies and technologies that underpin the security of both of our nations.
With more than 50 Australian and American leaders from government, military, enterprise, academia, and media in attendance-inclusive of our strategic partners, US Indo-Pacific Command, the East-West Center and the University of Hawaii-the 2018 Honolulu Leadership Dialogue addressed issues of defence, security and cyber intelligence over a three-day period.
The program began with a commemoration of 100 Years of Mateship at the National Cemetery of the Pacific, known commonly as the “Punchbowl Memorial.” The Cemetery serves as a memorial to honour the men and women who have given their lives to serve in the US Armed Forces. In recognition of their courage, the AALD lay a wreath in the Court of Honour. Following, Australian Consul General to Hawaii, Ambassador Jane Hardy, hosted a spectacular reception to welcome the 2018 HLD delegation at her residence in Honolulu.
The HLD delegation included a strong bilateral military contingent, led by Lt. General Bryon Fenton, Deputy Commander of US Indo-Pacific Command and Major General Roger Noble, Deputy Commander of the US Army in the Indo-Pacific. Their leadership was highlighted on the second day of the HLD program, where delegates engaged in private briefings at the headquarters of US Indo-Pacific Command.
Previously known as Pacific-Command (PACOM), US Indo-Pacific Command is the world’s primary combatant station; protecting more than half of Earth’s surface and 60 percent of the global population. With its allies and partners, US Indo-Pacific Command is committed to enhancing the stability of the Indo-Pacific region by promoting security, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies, and deterring aggression. Their strategy is based on a platform of partnership, presence and military readiness; qualities of immense value to the AALD. The briefings and off-the-record exchanges at US Indo-Pacific Command were invaluable to the 2018 HLD delegation and we thank US Indo-Pacific Command for their steadfast support of our organisation.
Delegates unanimously reinforced the importance of their personal engagement in this year’s program. Their unique exchanges and commitment to the values of the Leadership Dialogue is what provides the foundation for our organisation’s continued success. We thank the 2018 delegation for their candour and look forward to their participation in future Leadership Dialogue programs.