CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii - This year, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command celebrates its 75th anniversary. Established on Jan. 1, 1947, USINDOPACOM is the oldest and largest U.S. geographic combatant command and is responsible for all U.S. military activities across the Indo-Pacific.
The milestone is an opportunity to honor the courage, and service of the U.S. military personnel, civilians, and Allies and partners who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the region, and express appreciation to the men and women who work hard every day to defend the nation and preserve peace throughout the Indo-Pacific.
“Our predecessors answered the call to defend liberty 75 years ago, and today we are called upon to protect a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said. “We spend time every single day working to prevent conflict. But the fact remains, the strongest deterrent we possess is the combat credibility of our military, so we must continue to train and prepare for any crisis that may arise.”
In the decades since World War II, the U.S. military has, and continues to maintain a strong and visible presence in the Indo-Pacific, operating in concert with Allies and partners, promoting security and stability in the region.
As part of efforts to reflect on the command’s legacy and continued impact, USINDOPACOM held a commander’s summit where seven former commanders gathered to provide their insight and perspective from their years of service.
Admirals Philip S. Davidson, Harry B. Harris, Samuel J. Locklear III, Timothy J. Keating, William J. Fallon, Thomas B. Fargo, and Dennis C. Blair each emphasized how impressed they are at the level of work and professionalism they continue to see from the service members and civilians at the command, and confirmed the value of deterrence and strength in the Department of Defense’s priority theater.
The events of the commander’s summit included a combination of historical heritage and modern capability demonstrations, highlighting the evolution of the command as it has adapted through the years. There was also a dedication ceremony to honor the legacy of Adm. Ronald J. Hays, the 13th commander of then Pacific Command who served 38 years in the Navy as a decorated naval aviator with three Silver Stars, seven Distinguished Flying Crosses, and memorial remarks for Adm. Richard C. Macke, commander from 1994-1996, who recently passed away.
At an all-hands call, Adm. Aquilino and Fleet Master Chief David Isom, USINDOPACOM Senior Enlisted Leader, emphasized how important and visible the command continues to be.
“When we exercise or operate with our Allies and partners, they see the qualities that define who we are as Americans: a nation of principle, with a culture of compassion, committed to making the world a more prosperous, free and safe place for all,” Isom said.
With Allies and partners, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is committed to enhancing stability in the Indo-Pacific region by promoting security cooperation, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies, deterring aggression, and, when necessary, fighting to win.