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Todd Lopez, US Army
US ARMY Chief of Staff Gen Ray
Odierno visited Australia to discuss
areas of mutual concern in the Asia
and Pacific regions, the reduction of
Defence budgets and continuing a
partnership into the future.
He addressed the 36th annual
Pacific Armies Management Seminar
and the Australian Defence College's
Centre for Defence and Strategic
Studies and visited the Australian
War Memorial to lay a wreath with
CA Lt-Gen David Morrison during the
"For many decades, and especially
since the end of World War II, the US
has depended on strong partnerships
in the Pacific, built on mutual respect,
trust and cooperation, to ensure the sta-
bility, peace and prosperity of a region
that is critical to the entire international
community," Gen Odierno said.
Gen Odierno praised the strong
relationships built during support pro-
vided in Iraq and Afghanistan, but said
there were also new challenges fac-
ing the international community that
needed to be tackled together.
"Empowered by technology, indi-
vidual actors, whether soldiers, civil-
ians or adversaries, can broadcast an
image or message to a global audi-
ence in an instant, and these tactical
actions can and often will have strate-
gic impacts," Gen Odierno said.
"Technology allows like-minded
individuals to come together virtually,
not constrained by geography or for-
mal borders, and this represents a new
space we must embrace and integrate
into our operations alongside the phys-
After Gen Odierno's address at
the Centre for Defence and Strategic
Studies Col Mick Ashleigh said "Gen
Odierno clearly articulated the stra-
tegic challenges facing the US as it
must prepare for a myriad of emerging
security threats in a period of reducing
The US Army is bolstering its train-
ing with "a better understanding of
human behaviour and different cultural
lenses", and Gen Odierno suggested
Australia's and other nations' armies
should follow suit.
Col Georgeina Whelan, who also
attended Gen Odierno's presentation at
the centre, found the talk particularly
relevant in the current period of cul-
tural change in the ADF.
"The major takeaway was Gen
Odierno's emphasis on the essen-
tial requirement to lead, not manage,
change," she said.
As operations draw down in the
Middle East, Gen Odierno said sol-
diers would be returning to the Asian
and Pacific regions and could take part
in partnership-building operations.
"We want open, transparent rela-
tionships with all nations for continued
peace and security,"
been at our side for
the past century
and I look forward
to an even brighter
future built around
with our long-time
allies and closer rela-
tionships with poten-
After his visit
to Australia, Gen
Odierno moved on to Thailand to
meet with Gen Prayut Chan-O-Cha,
commander-in-chief of the Royal
General focuses on international ties and ever-changing threats
Strong ties: US Army Chief of Staff Gen Ray Odierno visits Army HQ in
Canberra and, inset, pays his respects at the Australian War Memorial
with CA Lt-Gen David Morrison.
Photos by Lauren Black
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