CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea, -- Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter got a close look at Camp Humphreys and spoke to more than 300 U.S. Army and Air Force members, here, during his visit to the garrison, July 26.

In speaking to the troops, the deputy secretary thanked them for their service to the nation and pointed out the importance of the role they play in maintaining peace and security in the region.

"Turn on your television and look at Syria or someplace where there is no security, [then] you realize how fortunate it is to have -- you provide that to people," said Carter. "You, right here, right now, in this part of the world, are at the fulcrum of the strategic change that we in the United States are making."

During his stop, Carter also listened to a briefing about the garrison's ongoing transformation. Army Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, 8th Army commander, and Gen. James D. Thurman, Commander of U.S. Forces Korea, gave the deputy secretary an update on plans to relocate to Camp Humphreys.

Home to the 2nd Infantry Division's combat aviation brigade and the Army's most active airfield in the Pacific, Camp Humphreys is currently the site of the largest construction project in the Defense Department's history.

According to Carter, "South Korea-stationed troops must be ready every day to face and defeat aggression."

"That's why you have the newest and best equipment -- because your proficiency, your readiness, your capability, have to be tip-top for you to do what you do," he said.

Carter closed with his remarks to the troops by reminding them the importance they play, every day, in securing South Korea and fostering goodwill with in the Pacific region.

"You have much to be proud of.  You have much to feel good about when you wake up every morning.  And you should.  And I just wanted you to know that and to reflect on that a little bit and go home and tell your family about it," said Carter.

Page last updated Fri July 27th, 2012 at 00:00