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Home : Media : Speeches / Testimony
NEWS | June 10, 2013

Special Operations Command Pacific Change of Command

By Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command

Welcome fellow flag and general officers, distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, family and friends.  Good morning and aloha.

It’s truly an honor to be a part of this change of command...a special opportunity to recognize two extraordinary military leaders and their families…and to thank the exceptional men and women of Special Operations Command Pacific, the “Guardians of the Pacific”.

Over the past two years, SOCPAC’s overwhelming success can easily be attributed to two things: the professionalism and strength of these Guardians and the inspiring leadership of Major General Norman Brozenick Junior.

Under Major General Brozenick’s decisive leadership and through his exceptional vision, SOCPAC superbly executed its challenging mission and continues to positively influence the security environment here in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

Over the course of the past two years, Norm guided this command to an unprecedented record of successful achievements.
Under Norm’s leadership, SOCPAC planned and executed a well-coordinated campaign…focused heavily on building the capacity of maritime and intelligence forces in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand…against the transnational terrorist networks operating in South East Asia.

SOCPAC also played a pivotal role in our nation’s humanitarian assistance, disaster response, and development efforts in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.  From providing support to the Government of Philippines during Typhoon Bopha…to assisting USAID in the creation of 30 coastal crisis management centers and 19 multi-purpose cyclone shelters in Bangladesh…to being first on the scene for the USS Guardian recovery efforts.

Through Norm’s insightful guidance, Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines, what most of us know as JSOTF-P, made substantive advances in its combat advisory mission to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  JSOTF-P has clearly increased the capacity and capabilities of the AFP to combat radical extremists in the Southern Philippines.

While SOCPAC’s operational successes are numerous, Norm is also well known for his broad, strategic initiatives and for his unrelenting dedication to SOCPAC’s motto, HOE-OH-LOWE-LEE-MAH ho’olaulima], which means “to pull together” in Hawaiian.

Norm’s ability to identify complex challenges to U.S. national and Pacific regional security, and collaboratively develop tangible solutions in response to them, has been nothing short of extraordinary.

He set the stage for a new level of persistent engagement, dialogue, and collaboration with key allies and partners through the establishment of the Regional Special Operations Forces Coordination Center in Honolulu… achieving enhanced multilateral SOF and partner cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific.

Norm has also clearly highlighted the importance of the Rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific by demonstrating for all the true value of forward deployed special operators and the necessity for forward deployed forces in this AOR.  We still need more – don’t forget that Rear Admiral Howe…

Norm’s accomplishments have simply been superb… and his leadership and vision were influential in shaping a more secure future for the Indo-Asia-Pacific. But we all know that none of us who serve do so alone…a leader’s success is strengthened by the support of those closest to them, which is why today is also about honoring family… specifically Norm’s spouse, Lisa.  Lisa, your commitment and dedication to the SOCPAC family has undoubtedly been a force multiplier. 

For those of you who don’t know, Lisa began numerous family initiatives to include the annual SOF Capabilities Demonstration and New Member and Spouse’s Orientation.  She also worked to systematically increase spouse awareness of service and joint family support mechanisms such as the Care Coalition network for wounded warriors.

While accomplishing all of this, Lisa even managed to earn her sailing license alongside joint spouses via the Hickam “Wet Hens” sailing program. 

Lisa clearly kept the home fires burning for all the SOCPAC spouses and families as their loved ones sacrificed for all of us here today.  We simply cannot thank you enough for your service to the SOCPAC OH-HAH-NUH [ohana]…and for your leadership and commitment to our military families and our country.

On behalf of U.S. Pacific Command, I wish you both the best of luck as you return to Florida.

As we bid farewell to the Brozenick’s, we also extend a warm welcome to the HOWS [Howe’s].

Gardner and Erin are joining us from Fort Bragg, North Carolina where Rear Admiral Howe served as the Assistant Commanding Officer of the Joint Special Operations Command.

Gardner is returning to the SOCPAC OH-HAH-NUH [ohana] after twelve years away.  For those of you who don’t know, Rear Admiral Howe was assigned to SOCPAC from 1999 to 2001 as the Current Operations Officer.

Gardner is an impressive leader with a distinctive career.  He’s commanded at every level in special operations, worked as a strategist, and has spent time in the Pacific… all experiences that have fully prepared him to assume this strategically important post.

Gardner, I know you understand the significance and complexity of the region- of special operations in the region- to our nation and the world.

Your experiences and proven record as a leader give me great confidence that you will continue to build upon the proud heritage and accomplishments of SOCPAC, the “Guardians of the Pacific”.  I look forward to watching you and Erin lead from the front and seeing the collective successes of all the men and women serving at Special Operations Command Pacific.

I know you all will continue to demonstrate excellence above and beyond what is asked of you, because what I see standing before me today is the best our Country has to offer. 

Thank you for all that you do, and may God bless the United States of America.

— USPACOM (posted June 10, 2013) —


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