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Special Operations Command hosts Indo-Pacific partners

8 May 2019

Command-level senior enlisted special operations soldiers from across the Indo–Pacific region have converged on Sydney to develop their strategic knowledge, exchange information and help build closer relationships across the region.

Special Operations Command (SOCOMD) hosted the inaugural Indo–Pacific Special Operations Forces Summit course for command-level senior enlisted leaders from 4-22 March at HMAS Penguin.

The Summit-International course is usually conducted by the US Special Operations Command's Joint Special Operations University (JSOU) in Germany; however, a military education team flew to Sydney to deliver the course with a focus on Indo-Pacific security challenges.

Special Operations Commander for Australia, Major General Adam Findlay, and Commander of US SOCOM, General Raymond Thomas III, flew into HMAS Penguin to speak to the students.

JSOU instructor Blake Edwards said the course was aimed at preparing command-level senior enlisted leaders to better work with an advise their commanders.

"Everybody who attends the course is going to come away with a much better appreciation for the strategic and higher-level complexities of command as the very senior level," Mr Edwards said.

"The principal aim is to enable the future senior enlisted leader to be a much better adviser and partner with the officers they are working for in their commands."

SOCOMD Command Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class One John Letch, who completed the course in Germany in 2018, said it exposed senior soldiers to a variety of other opportunities.

"This is an executive-level course and, in addition to providing an invaluable insight into the strategic, cultural, political and various other complexities that their commanders need to understand, it's also great for students to share knowledge and develop those deeper networks across the Indo–Pacific region to enable senior enlisted leaders to better advise their commanders," he said.

This is the first time the summit course has been conducted outside of the US or Europe.

SOCOMD anticipates hosting the course again in 2021 and another Indo–Pacific country hosting it next year.

"This time we managed to get five countries here with a total of seven students, but we're anticipating there will be a lot more countries trying to get onboard for the next course," Warrant Officer Letch said.

Last updated
14 May 2019
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