U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter was in town Wednesday to see a new commander take over as the top U.S. military officer in the Asia-Pacific region.
The ceremony was two-fold. Adm. Scott H. Swift assumed command of U.S. Pacific Fleet from Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., who then assumed command of U.S. Pacific Command from Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, who retired.
“Hawaii is the most sought-after duty station in the world for military people and it’s not because of the great beautiful weather, it’s not because of the historical part of it, it’s not because of the lack of traffic and all those things. It’s because of all the ohana spirit that’s here. It’s the people,” said Locklear.
Harris previously led U.S. Pacific Fleet since October 2013.
The event took place at Kilo Pier on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
U.S. Pacific Command is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands (unified military services) responsible for overall stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. It is supported by the service-specific component commands in the region, including U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Headquartered at Camp H.M. Smith in Hawaii, USPACOM is the oldest and largest geographic combatant command, and consists of about 360,000 military
and civilian personnel working in the region.