Mr Eddie Lim, Senior Fellow and Head of the Military Studies Programme, a component programme of the RSIS Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (IDSS), was invited to speak at the fifth Indo-Pacific Army Chiefs Conference (IPACC) and Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS), organised by the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM). The event, held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 9 to 12 September 2019, was co-hosted by the Royal Thai Army. It was the fifth in a regular conference series intended as a platform for professional sharing and learning of best practices among partner armies around the region. This year’s conference, which brought together 29 army chiefs from the region, was devoted to the theme “Achieving Sustainable Security: A New Perspective on Indo-Pacific Armies”.
Speaking on a panel on multilateral frameworks involving armed forces, Mr Lim discussed the work of the Singapore Armed Forces in the area of multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Sharing the panel with him was Mr Narongsak Osottanakorn, former Governor of Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province, who was in charge of the Tham Luang Cave rescue operation in 2018. Mr Narongsak shared his experience of coordinating international and Thai experts in the rescue of the junior football team members who were trapped in a cave by rising waters. The other speaker on the panel was Mr Quinton Devlin, who was the last Special Coordinator of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), a stabilisation and state-building intervention involving 15 nations between 2003 and 2017. Mr Devlin oversaw the withdrawal of the mission and the transfer of the responsibility for policing and national security back to the Solomon Islands government.