“To our allies here in the Indo-Pacific, you will have no better ally. To our partners, I look forward to advancing our partnership in a way that serves our mutual interests,” Admiral Phil Davidson said in a speech at command turnover ceremonies at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
AP/File
‘Indo-Pacific to have no better ally than US’
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - June 1, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Indo-Pacific countries can have no better ally than the United States in the task of preserving peace and stability, the new commander of the US forces in the region said on Wednesday.

“To our allies here in the Indo-Pacific, you will have no better ally. To our partners, I look forward to advancing our partnership in a way that serves our mutual interests,” Admiral Phil Davidson said in a speech at command turnover ceremonies at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

“For more than 70 years, the Indo-Pacific has been largely peaceful,” said Davidson.

“In most ways, this was made possible by two things: the commitment of free nations to the free and open international order… and the credibility of the combat power within US Pacific Command,” he said.

It was Davidson who had declared that China’s posturing in the region had reached its tipping point.

Davidson succeeded Admiral Harry Harris as commander of US Indo-Pacific Command.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis, in remarks at the ceremony, praised Harris for his achievements as US military commander in the region and highlighted the importance of strong leadership in keeping peace and stability.

“PACOM (Pacific Command) is our primary combatant command, standing watch and intimately engaged with over half of the earth’s surface and its diverse population,” said Mattis. “The United States is today, and has been for two centuries, a Pacific nation.”

Harris, for his part, conveyed his respect and confidence in his successor.

“Admiral Phil Davidson is well-suited to operate in the complex international milieu that is the Pacific Command in the 21st Century,” said Harris.

He said Davidson is a battle-tested leader whose experiences and expertise span the globe in a multitude of important security and operational assignments.

During the ceremony, Mattis announced that PACOM was changing its name as well as its commander.

“In recognition of the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific oceans, today we rename the US Pacific Command to US Indo-Pacific Command,” said Mattis. “Over many decades this command has repeatedly adapted to changing circumstances and today carries that legacy forward as America focuses west.”

Davidson used to command the US Fleet Forces Command/Naval Forces US Northern Command in Norfolk, Virginia.

His previous commands afloat include Carrier Strike Group 8/Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and USS Taylor (FFG 50).

PHIL DAVIDSON UNITED STATES US INDO-PACIFIC COMMAND
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