On May 30, US Secretary of defense Jim Mattis announced the renaming of the US Pacific Command to US Indo-Pacific Command to strengthen the “increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans”.
Secretary James N. Mattis, Secretary for @DeptOfDefense, announces the renaming of U.S. Pacific Command to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command to recognize the increasing connectivity between the Indian & Pacific Oceans and America's commitment to the #IndoPacific! pic.twitter.com/PXk8eeRoWW
— U.S. Pacific Command (@PacificCommand) May 30, 2018
At the change of command ceremony in Pearl Harbor, Mattis made his remarks on the renaming, stressing the importance of India in the US strategy in the region. Mattis stated that “all nations large and small are essential to the region, in order to sustain stability in ocean areas critical to global peace.”
“In recognition of the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, today we rename the U.S. Pacific Command to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command,” he said.
“Relationships with our Pacific and Indian Ocean allies and partners have proven critical to maintaining regional stability.”
Defense leaders remain focused on efforts to strengthen relationships and modernize U.S. alliances in the #IndoPacific region as a priority for 21st-century security interests and sustaining U.S. global leadership.
Learn more ➡️ https://t.co/7tUOAeysBQ pic.twitter.com/efQFFYo1JV
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) May 30, 2018
At the ceremony, Navy Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. handed over the reins to Navy Admiral Philip S. Davidson. Both admirals emphasized that the command would continue “the mission of security and stability in the region from the coast of Africa to the coast of California and all points between”.
The Military Times claimed that the renaming is “the latest move to counter Chinese economic and military pressure in the region”.
The US Indo-Pacific Command is the largest among the six geographic unified combatant commands. About 375,000 US military and civilian personnel are assigned to the domain.