FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii - Australian Army Maj. Gen. Gregory C. Bilton, outgoing Deputy Commanding General-North, U.S. Army Pacific, and Australian Army Maj. Gen. Roger Noble, incoming Deputy Commanding General-North, in concert with U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Doug Anderson, incoming Deputy Commanding General-Army Reserve, were honored during a Flying "V" ceremony held at historic Palm Circle, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, March 14.
The Flying "V" ceremony traditionally welcomes or honors senior Army officials when they assume duties or depart from USARPAC. The "V" refers to the way the colors are posted during the ceremony, which is V-shaped.
USARPAC's subordinate and theater-enabling commands were represented on the parade field by Soldiers bearing the organizational colors and command teams.
USARPAC Commanding General, Gen. Robert B. Brown, officiated the ceremony and addressed Bilton's importance to USARPAC and the impact he had on the command.
Bilton prepares to depart USARPAC, after 28-months of distinguished service. He will assume the duties of Deputy Chief of Joint Operations, Australian Headquarters Joint Operations Command, near Kowen, Australian Capital Territory.
"During his tenure as USARPAC's Deputy Commanding General-North, he's had a tremendous impact," said Brown. "It sends a powerful signal of the strength of our bilateral alliance when you can dispatch an Australian general officer to speak on behalf of the US Army to allies and partners throughout the region."
[When he returns to Australia], "he'll be deputy of the Joint Operations Command under Vice Admiral Johnston," Brown said. "The cool thing about that is he'll continue to work with [Pacific Command] and us, so we'll see him around and we're glad for that."
Brown finished up by thanking Bilton for his contributions to USARPAC and expressed how he felt one of the best decisions ever made in USARPAC's history was to have someone from Australia assigned as deputy commanding general.
Bilton expressed that it was a great honor to have served under Brown, and how proud he was to have contributed to its work across the Indo-Asia-Pacific Theater during his tenure at USARPAC.
"It's been a privilege to serve here in the United States Army Pacific, and we will treasure our memories," said Bilton.
Brown also recognized the arrival of Bilton's replacement, Maj. Gen. Roger Noble, who is coming to USARPAC from the 101st Airborne Division where he deployed to the Middle East as the Deputy Commanding General, Coalition Joint Forces Land Component Command, during Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq.
"Roger continues the quickly emerging tradition of Australia sending their best Army officers to serve as USARPAC Deputy Commanding Generals before continuing on to even higher commands," Brown said.
Noble, in turn, stated " there is no doubt that the Australian defense force deeply respects and appreciates the decision of the United States to let an Australian fill this post, to that end I commit myself to the mission and pledge to faithfully represent us interests throughout my tenure."
Joining USARPAC as well is Brig. Gen. Doug Anderson. Brown said he was delighted to welcome Anderson to the USARPAC ohana and was glad he was coming onboard. The two roles Anderson will be assuming -Deputy Commanding General-Army Reserve; and Director, Army Reserve Engagement Cell - are critical to ensuring integration across the total Army team between the Active and Reserve components.
"While this is his first assignment in Hawaii, Doug is no stranger to the Pacific," Brown said. "He began his career in Korea as an Infantry platoon leader, and more recently, he was immersed in Exercises Key Resolve and Ulchi Freedom Guardian on the Korean Peninsula during his time commanding Great Lakes Division, 75th Training Command."
Brown went on to say that it wasn't just Anderson's diverse Reserve command experiences that made him so qualified for this position.
"Doug is a proven combat leader with the intellectual and professional background to push this Command," Brown said. "Simply put, he is the right General, at the right time, to continue the hard work of ensuring total Army integration across the Pacific."