OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea –
Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visited Team Osan April 9, 2015, at Osan Air
Base, Republic of Korea.
During the visit, Carter held a troop call in
hangar 1732 where he briefly spoke about the importance of the United States'
role in Asia before taking questions from the crowd and then coining, and
thanking, more than 200 service members.
Among the topics Carter spoke on
were: the importance of the U.S.'s alliance with the Asia/Pacific region and
Korea in particular, readiness, the DoD's priority of attracting and retaining
the best service members possible, and the importance of security.
speaking briefly, Carter took questions from the audience. The Defense Secretary
addressed topics of rotating forces to Korea, retirement compensation for
service members, and any forthcoming changes to the Korean theater.
the rotating of forces, Carter said he is pleased with the new methods, but he
is also open to feedback.
"I think right now that it's working out very
well because readiness is at a premium," said Carter.
compensation will not be coercively changed for any active service members, said
Carter. Although the Defense Secretary noted there are discussions about
altering the military's retirement model, these changes will simply give service
members a choice.
"We're not going to change the game for anyone that's
already in the game," said Carter.
Ultimately, the Defense Secretary said
that any change to the retirement system will be driven by a desire to recruit
the best personnel possible.
"This isn't about saving money," said
Asked about the future of the U.S.'s role in Korea, Carter said
that in the present and future, a lot of focus will be put into the Korean, and
"A lot of newer capabilities will be flowing into
here," said Carter. "This is a demanding theater with one-half of the world's
wealth and population."
Above all, Carter said that the U.S. alliance
with Korea and the rest of the Asia/Pacific region is pivotal and that the DoD
needs to attract and retain the best people possible to work in this vital