A U.S. government jet sits on the tarmac outside the 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron base at the Victoria International Airport. It was there, transporting military officials to an Asia-Pacific conference on defence issues. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

Victoria hosting Asia-Pacific defence conference

Canada hosting top military brass from nations bordering the Pacific ocean for the first time

If an aircraft decked out in U.S. government markings at the Victoria airport wasn’t enough of a giveaway something was happening in Victoria this week, the 250-plus uniformed members of various nations’ militaries certainly helped.

Victoria hosted the 19th Pacific Command Chiefs of Defence (PACOM CHODS) conference Sept. 3 to 5 at the Victoria Conference Centre. It’s the first time the event has been hosted by Canada.

The event brings together top military brass from countries that border the Pacific ocean, said Lt.-Cdr. John Nethercott, senior public affairs officer with Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC), with the Canadian Armed Forces.

The conference is being hosted by Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance and Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Harry B. Harris. Nethercott said there are 24 to 25 countries represented at the event — from the hosts to France and the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Japan, Chile, Mongolia and Mexico, to name a few. The last conference was held in the Philippines in 2016.

Nethercott said the annual conferences are an open forum event for those countries’ chiefs of defence to discuss “concerns of mutual importance including, but not limited to, common security challenges, promotion of military relationships, and fostering regional collaboration.”

“Multilateral defence relations are an important component of Canada’s overall engagement in the Asia-Pacific region,” Nethercott stated in an email to Black Press.

He added that North Korea, and its nuclear weapons development, was likely to be up for discussion, but was not a specific topic on the agenda.

A large security presence was in place for the three-day conference, and preparations had been going on for about a year.

Just Posted

Parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

Indigenous leader shares traditional knowledge of B.C. plants for Earth Day

Guided walks through Beacon Hill Park provide insight to historical uses of Camas, Indian Plum, snow berries

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Rockin’ steady with Phonosonics

Victoria roots reggae band looks to attract wider audience with appearance on Rise Up TV show

Central Saanich, Tsawout taking part in reconciliation ceremony

Blanket event Monday to help foster mutual trust and respect

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

LOCAL FLAVOUR: Taking the sting out of nourishing nettles

Linda Geggie For the Saanich News When you think of nettles you… Continue reading

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Central Saanich, Tsawout taking part in reconciliation ceremony

Blanket event Monday to help foster mutual trust and respect

Ballet Victoria soirée fundraiser a prelude to final show of season

Company winds up its 15th season in the city with Peter Pan next month

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

Most Read