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Pacific Fleet Commander Holds All Hands Call in Yokosuka

19 November 2013

From Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Abby Rader

Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. visited Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Nov. 19 as part of a four-day trip to Japan with stops in Tokyo, Naval Air Station Atsugi and Fleet Activities Sasebo.

YOKOSUKA, Japan - Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT), visited Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY), Nov. 19.

Harris' visit to CFAY was part of a four-day trip to Japan with stops in Tokyo, Naval Air Station Atsugi and Fleet Activities Sasebo.

Harris addressed the forward-deployed Sailors during an all-hands call at CFAY's Fleet Theater.

During the question and answer portion, Harris responded to questions from Sailors covering several topics, including curfew for Sailors in Japan and how the sequestration will affect different aspects of the military, such as tuition assistance and promotion opportunities.

"The best way to prepare for changes is to understand what the changes are," said Harris. "You have to pay attention to not only what's going on in the Navy and Yokosuka, but in the nation. Use your resources to understand what those changes might be, and figure out what you have to do to make those changes."

Harris also discussed "Operation Damyan," the humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HA/DR) mission to assist the Philippine government in response to the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Republic of the Philippines.

"We have friends in the region, and when our friends are in trouble and in need, we go and help," said Harris. "In this case, the people of the Republic of the Philippines experienced a great tragedy, and we were able to respond quickly and be helpful."

Harris also discussed the sequestration's affect on the rebalance to Asia.

"Rebalance is real," said Harris. "The Navy is committed to it and sending the newest and best platforms to the Pacific."

Harris is very familiar with the importance of the Indo-Asia Pacific and the mission, having served in Japan four times, the most recent being in 2002.

"I'm very glad to be back in Japan," said Harris. "It's great to be with Sailors and talk with them on a regular basis. I'm very proud to be a part of the Pacific Fleet team."

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