Places, Bases, and Faces in the Asia-Pacific

Expanding theater security cooperation efforts, at the airman-to-airman level, will help foster stability and create new opportunities for the US Air Force in the Asia-Pacific, Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Lori Robinson said. After taking command in October 2014, Robinson traveled to Japan for an Asia-Pacific air chiefs conference, where she was designated by Japan Air Self Defense Force’s Gen. Harukazu Saito as the “dean” of the group, speaking to both the Japanese defense minister and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on behalf of the group. “I realized that my role as the senior airman was to be an ambassador for our Air Force and what we believe and what we stood for,” she said in an interview with Air Force Magazine at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando last week. Robinson said she wants to continue former PACAF boss Gen. Hawk Carlisle’s “places not bases” engagement in US Pacific Command by building on military-to-military ties on several levels. Robinson calls this her “places, some bases, but airmen ambassador faces” approach. By engaging at the airman level, whether at a humanitarian exercise during Cope North on Guam or at the upcoming Australian International Airshow, USAF airmen “help create stability, and create the places we want to go, and create connections.”