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NEWS | July 7, 2015

New Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Visits in New Zealand

By Embassy of the U.S., New Zealand

The Commander of United States Pacific Command, Admiral Harry B. Harris arrives in New Zealand this week for discussions with the Government and senior defense officials. Though he has been to New Zealand before, this is Harris’ first visit to New Zealand since taking up his new post in May.

"I'm really looking forward to renewing my New Zealand connections and deepening the already prospering relationship between our two countries.”

“New Zealand and the United States do an extraordinary amount of humanitarian and disaster relief work together in the region. We both value being a good neighbor, a good friend and helping others when needed.”

The Admiral added that shared efforts on counter-piracy and other multi-lateral missions and exercises are also producing significant results.

“We regularly work with the New Zealand Defence Force in multi-lateral missions such as Pacific Partnership and the Combined Maritime Force in Southwest Asia. Training together at exercises including Phoenix Spirit, Alam Halfa and Southern Katipo enables us to practice working together during crisis events.”

“I have operated with and am impressed by the performance, professionalism and capabilities of the New Zealand Defense Force.”

“Our enhanced partnership with New Zealand is part of the United States rebalance and has created new opportunities for defense collaboration in maritime security, humanitarian assistance, and peacekeeping.”

The Commander was born in Japan and raised in Tennessee and Florida. As a Midshipman, he participated in an exchange program with the Royal New Zealand Navy. He has studied at Harvard, Georgetown, Oxford and MIT. Harris has commanded Patrol Squadron 46, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 1, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, the U.S. 6th Fleet, Striking and Support Forces NATO, and the U.S. Pacific Fleet. In May 2015, he assumed his current post in command of U.S. Pacific Command.
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