Adm. Cecil D. Haney speaks at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Tech-Net Asia-Pacific Conference at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Nov. 15. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Kolmel)

WAIKIKI, Hawaii - Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, spoke about the importance of innovation in information technology and regional alliances and partnerships as a featured speaker on the final day of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) TechNet Asia-Pacific Conference Nov. 15.

More than 3,000 attendees heard from military speakers and subject-matter experts during the three-day event at the Sheraton Waikiki and Royal Hawaiian Hotel, which allowed them to stay informed about current and future defense, communications and information technology being used in the Pacific region.

Following the conference, Haney spoke about how the world of electronics and communication is an ever-changing field, and conferences like AFCEA Tech-Net help keep the United States and its allies up to date with developing technologies.

"Our military involvement in the Asia-Pacific region is based largely on relationships with other countries in the region, and strengthening partnerships and alliances are key tenets of the Pacific Fleet's priorities," Haney said. "Communicating with these partners and allies in classified and unclassified environments is crucial to strengthening these relationships."

Haney highlighted some of the communication improvement efforts currently underway, such as the Department of Defense's and U.S. Pacific Command's Joint Information Environment, which creates affordable, scalable information-sharing constructs quickly for any coalition that needs them. When missions end, they are disestablished and reconfigured for a different set of partners just as quickly.

"We share a lot of information in order to choreograph the many movements that our ships and personnel make on behalf of the nation," Haney said. "It is all reliant on getting the right information to the right people at the right time, in a trusted manner. As we look at our strategy of how we are going to get better to meet the demands of the future, it is all built upon a foundation of having solid information so that decision makers have the right information to make valued decisions in a spirit of collaboration and partnership."

Haney also emphasized that a stable and secure Asia-Pacific region is essential to all Pacific nations and that the U.S. Pacific Fleet works with allies and partners to deter conflict and preserve peace. In line with the U.S. government's rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific, he said that while the U.S. Pacific Fleet currently has strong and committed forward naval presence, it will grow stronger with improved capability over the next five-to-10 years.

The Pacific Fleet has had a presence here since 1895, but the region is too large and too complex for any one nation to safeguard so we are constantly looking to strengthen alliances and build partnerships," Haney said. "Information technology will be the driver that keeps the wheels of the rebalance moving. We will continue to develop the information suites of the future that will allow us to seamlessly work with our partners and allies."

AFCEA TechNet is a series of events to provide a forum for the military services, industry and academia to discuss issues, and share ideas and solutions for the technological challenges of today and tomorrow.