By Lt. Cdr Jenny Reid, RN, Vice President, Hawaii AOC Diamond Head Chapter
From Oct. 16-20, hundreds of military, academic and industry experts in Information Operations and Electronic Warfare gathered in Honolulu for the 12th Annual IO & EW Symposium, hosted by USINDOPACOM J39 and sponsored by the Association of Old Crows.
Building on last year’s work on ways to achieve Integrated Deterrence, this year’s symposium examined the extent to which the United States is achieving Integrated Deterrence and looked at new and innovative ways in which we can build on it alongside our Allies and Partners.
Alongside representatives from all US Combatant Commands and several Service Commands, 90 participants from fourteen Allied and Partner nations gathered to take part, and individuals from Taiwan, Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany gave presentations and joined discussion panels. Individuals from Japan and Indonesia presented for the first time in the history of the event. Other speakers included representatives from the State Department Global Engagement Center, Radio Free Asia, US AID and major military universities. Perspectives from outside of the military specialization included actor Chris Pratt and celebrity personal trainer Ron ‘Boss’ Everline.
The symposium began with eleven virtual UNCLASSIFIED presentations, starting with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Eric Ridge as the opening keynote speaker. Chapter President, Arthur Tulak was the Chair for this portion of the symposium.
This year the UNCLASSIFIED in-person plenary sessions were held at the Alohilani Resort to ensure there was space for a larger audience. The new venue also facilitated an increase in the number of speakers which allowed for a series of smaller breakout sessions for experts to take a deeper look at specific topics. Over 500 people attended the event.
The gathering also provided an opportunity for Leaders from the J39 Directorate to conduct bilateral meetings with delegations representing Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, The United Kingdom and Singapore.
Outside of the agenda of presentations, over 20 exhibit booths from event industry sponsors offered opportunities for networking and interactions. The symposium benefitted from 37 industry sponsors who made this event possible.
The 2024 symposium is scheduled for Oct. 21-25 using the same agenda template of one day of UNCLASSIFIED virtual presentations, followed by two days of UNCLASSIFIED presentations, panels and breakout sessions at the Alohilani Resort, and then finishing up with classified presentations and panels at the Pacific Warfighting Center and HQs US Indo-Pacific Command.