Pacific Fleet Commander Reaffirms Rebalance Commitment
Pacific Fleet Commander
Reaffirms Rebalance Commitment
From U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs.
Canberra, Australia -- Octobre 31, 2013 -- (NNS)
-- The commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet reaffirmed America's commitment to the
Indo-Asia-Pacific rebalance during a keynote speech here, Oct. 31.
In his first international trip since assuming command Oct. 16, Adm. Harry B.
Harris Jr. delivered his remarks at the Kokoda Foundation Conference during a
trilateral strategic dialogue among Australia, Japan and the United States.
Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of
U.S. Pacific Fleet
"Let me assure you, if you only remember one thing from my remarks tonight,
it should be this," Harris said. "You can count on the United States of America."
Fellow keynote speakers at the conference were Australian Defense Minister
Senator David Johnston; Yoshitaka Akimoto, Japan's ambassador to Australia; and
John Berry, U.S. ambassador to Australia.
The Kokoda Foundation researches Australia's national security challenges and
fosters the development of a new generation of future strategic thinkers who are
well-equipped to deal with the diverse security challenges that lie ahead,
according to the foundation's website.
Harris stressed the importance of strengthening economic, diplomatic and
military cooperation among the United States and allies to ensure regional
stability, peace and prosperity.
"The relationships between our nations are as important to our future as they
have been to our past. This is why I'm committed to deepening the maritime piece
of our defense relationships with our allies and security partners throughout
the Indo-Asia-Pacific," Harris said. "My intent is not to plan for war against
any particular nation, but rather to lessen the chances of conflict by
increasing security and stability more broadly throughout the region. But the
Pacific Fleet is prepared, unequivocally, to respond to threats to our nation,
our interests and our allies from a position of strength."
Noting that past cycles of austere economic conditions and domestic political
turmoil did not stop America from persistently deploying capable naval forces to
the region for the past 70 years, Harris confidently stated that the rebalance
will make future presence even more robust.
"No one should question our commitment to the rebalance," Harris said. "Not
only can we do this, we are doing this. The physical manifestations of our
rebalance in new platforms, equipment, and technology are plain to see."
Indo-Asia-Pacific rebalance initiatives by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps
team include the ongoing first deployment of the new Littoral Combat Ship to
Southeast Asia, the deployment of Marines to Australia, the arrival of
Virginia-class submarines and San Antonio-class amphibious landing dock ships,
and the future deployment of the P-8 Poseidon, the MV-22 Osprey, and the Joint
Strike Fighter aircraft.
These new platforms will be combined with innovative operational concepts and
led by naval commanders with extensive experience in the region. Harris said
this enhanced naval power will be used to increase critical multilateral
activities where regional navies can operate together to combat destabilizing
maritime problems such as piracy.
Harris concluded that an increased intellectual focus brings a strong
American vision for the region.
"Our president and secretary of defense have been crystal clear," Harris said.
"We will rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, we will properly resource the
rebalance, and we will work closely with our allies and partners as we do so.
"Make no mistake, the United States is and will remain a Pacific power."
Visit www.cpf.navy.mil or
www.navy.mil/local/cpf/ for more news and images.