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Mr. Chairman, Congressman Smith and Distinguished Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. For two years, I have had the honor and privilege of leading the exceptional men and women, military and civilian, throughout the United States Pacific Command. They are not only skilled professionals, dedicated to the defense of our great nation, but within Pacific Command, they serve as superb ambassadors and truly represent the values and strengths that make our nation great. We continue to work to ensure they are well trained, well equipped and well lead to meet the challenges we are facing in the 21st Century. I want to publicly thank them and their families for their sacrifices.
When I spoke with you last year, I highlighted my concern for several issues that could challenge the security environment across the Pacific Command Area of responsibility…the Indo-Asia-Pacific. Those challenges included the potential for significant HA/DR events, an increasingly dangerous and unpredictable North Korea, the continued escalation of complex territorial disputes, growing challenges to our freedom of action in the shared domains of sea, air, space, and cyberspace, growing regional transnational threats and the significant challenges associated with China’s emergence as a global economic power and a regional military power.
During the past year we have been witness to all of these challenges, and our forces have been very busy securing the peace and defending US interests throughout half of the globe. We have done our very best to remain ready to respond to crisis and contingency, although we have assumed greater risk. We have maintained focus on the key aspects of the rebalance to the Asia Pacific… strengthening our alliances and partnerships, improving our posture and presence, and developing the concepts and capabilities required by today’s and tomorrow’s security environment… and we have done this against the back drop of continued fiscal and resource uncertainty and the resultant diminishing readiness and availability of our Joint Force.
I would like to thank the committee for your continued interest and support, and I look forward to your questions.
— USPACOM (posted March 5, 2014) —