Pacific Fleet Commander Thanks Sailors in Singapore
SINGAPORE - Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Adm. Harry Harris visited Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific (COMLOG WESTPAC) and Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) Jan. 22, during a visit to Singapore.
Harris addressed Sailors and Navy personnel assigned to COMLOG WESTPAC, Navy Region Singapore (NRS), and various tenant commands during an all hands call held at the NRS recreation facility.
"Thank you for everything you are doing in working with our partners in Singapore and throughout the region," said Harris. "Your work here is critically important and will become even more so in the future as we continue our strategic rebalance to the Pacific."
Harris highlighted the U.S. Navy support to the Asia-Pacific rebalance, saying that "no one should doubt America's long term commitment to the rebalance and the region."
With one of the Navy's newest ships, USS Spruance, as a backdrop, Harris emphasized the deployment and future uses of the Navy's most advanced platforms such as the littoral combat ship, the Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer and P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft to the Asia-Pacific.
"Thanks to some great support from Singapore, our first littoral combat ship, USS Freedom, just completed a very successful deployment to Southeast Asia which included responding to a devastating typhoon that hit our allies in the Philippines. Later this year, our next littoral combat ship will deploy to Southeast Asia for 16 months," said Harris.
Harris also stressed the importance of continuing partnerships with Singapore and other countries to strengthen relationships and enhance the interoperability of regional navies.
"Our vision for the entire region is focused on ensuring international rules and norms are upheld," emphasized Harris. "Where nations contribute responsibly to regional security, disputes are resolved peacefully without coercion, and where commerce and freedom of navigation are not impeded so that all Pacific nations can prosper."
Harris also responded to questions from the audience on a wide range of topics, including budget policies, new technologies, cultural stewardship and bilateral relationships.
Following the all hands call, Harris took a tour of Spruance. While there, he greeted the crewmembers who rescued a Filipino mariner, Jan. 18, who had fallen overboard from his vessel while transiting the Singapore Strait.
"The outstanding performance by the Spruance crew to render aid to a mariner in distress proves once again that our presence matters and is making a difference," said Harris.
In closing, Harris emphasized how 70 years of the U.S . Navy's persistent presence in the Pacific has contributed to regional stability, prosperity and peace.
"The U.S. Pacific Fleet will remain forward deployed so that we are where it matters, when it matters," stated Harris.
COMLOG WESTPAC is the U.S. 7th Fleet's provider of combat-ready logistics, operating government-owned and contracted ships to keep units throughout 7th Fleet armed, fueled, and fed. Additionally, COMLOG WESTPAC is 7th Fleet's Theater Security Cooperation agent for South and Southeast Asia.