The US Air Force and the Royal Malaysian Air Force have successfully co-hosted a biennial airlift symposium to enhance military airlift interoperability between the Pacific Rim nations.

Pacific Airlift Rally (PAR) 2009 aims at enhancing the military airlift interoperability and building partnerships between nations in the Pacific region with a specific focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

Participants included representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

The events included an international seminar, a tabletop exercise focusing on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief coordination between the multiple countries and a field training exercise to put the tabletop scenario into practice.

To assist with the exercise, three C-130 Hercules from the 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota Air Base, Japan; an An-32 from the Bangladesh air force; and one C-130 each from the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air force and Royal New Zealand Air Force took part in the field training.

US Air Force 374th Operations Group commander Col. Mark Hering said that the interaction with partner nations within the Pacific region is invaluable.

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“We are truly building relationships and enhancing our interoperability to be able to work together more effectively when responding to future humanitarian assistance or disaster relief operations,” Hering said.

The symposium took place between 17 and 21 August 2009.