The Pacific Inbox

Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Paul Hester said Thursday in Orlando that he has been “getting out a lot” to tell the Air Force story to the nation’s international partners. In India recently, Hester said he met with the air chiefs of more than 40 nations and participated in a range of discussions focused around a single topic—what is the role of airpower in a global context, particularly in an area of responsibility that spans 43 countries and 16 time zones? While the focus remains on the Middle East, the world is “bigger than Afghanistan and Iraq,” Hester said. “We need to sit around a tabletop and talk more to solve problems,” he explained, adding, “If you’re talking, you’re not shooting each other.” Efforts to increase multilateralism in the Pacific include the expansion of war games will allies, increased participation in Red Flag-Alaska, and efforts to bring partners into the Global Hawk program. He noted that 10 Global Hawks will bed down at Andersen AFB, Guam, starting in 2009. Hester wants to see a “Global Hawk demonstration” effort out of Guam, with three to four sorties a week to demonstrate the capability and possibly have liaisons involved in the effort.