World’s top military leaders converge in Manila

Twenty-nine top military leaders from Indo-Asia Pacific region along with some of the world's military powers gathered in this year's Chiefs of Defense (CHOD) Conference co-hosted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the United States Pacific Command.

Chiefs of Defense and senior military leaders from Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Chile, Colombia, France, Mexico, Peru, United Kingdom, and the United States of America came in for the three-day conference which ran from September 5 to 7.

The annual gathering aims to strengthen military cooperation, promote collaboration, and discuss security challenges across the Indo-Pacific maritime and geopolitical sphere.

The discussion centered on regional military cooperation and challenges, as highlighted by discussions on "Future Regional Order in the Indo-Asia-Pacific," "Military Cooperation in Transnational Security," and "Prospects for Maritime Shared Awareness, Technology, and Innovation."

Separate programs were also held for the Senior Enlisted Leaders (SEL) and the Spouses Network comprised of professional development conferences, capability demonstrations and static displays for the SEL and guided tours, and humanitarian visits for the spouses.

This year's hosting of CHOD took its cue from the 2014 conference in Brunei, where former AFP Chief of Staff Gregorio Catapang Jr agreed to the request of USPACOM to co-host. Started in 1998, CHOD became a platform for multilateral military dialogue and sharing of regional and global perspectives on common security challenges.

"We've marked modest achievements in the realization of our aspirations as far as regional peace and stability are concerned. Through this, we are optimistic in the cooperative ties that we have forged together to address terrorism, trafficking in person, drug trafficking, and other transnational crimes. We will emerge empowered still despite our own preoccupations with our mandates at home," said AFP Chief of Staff General Ricardo R Visaya who led the AFP in the three-day conference.

"As for the AFP, this conference became a venue for us to showcase our capacity for regional leadership, as we continue to promote trust, cooperation, and the peaceful advancement of our individual and common interests in the Indo-Asia Pacific region," General Visaya added.

Source: Philippine Information Agency