Staff Sgt. Amber Robinson
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER — Secretary of the Army John McHugh visited Hawaii, Aug. 20, to discuss operations throughout the Pacific and announce U.S. Army-Pacific’s new Australian deputy commanding general of operations.
USARPAC is the first Army Service Component Command to have a partner nation major general as a deputy commanding general.
McHugh visited Hawaii as part of an extended trip in which he visited Mongolia and South Korea.
While in Mongolia, McHugh observed Khaan Quest 2012, an annual multinational exercise sponsored by USARPAC and hosted by the Mongolia armed forces.
McHugh also met with Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, USARPAC, in Mongolia, to discuss the great work of USARPAC troops throughout the Pacific and Asia.
The trip culminated with McHugh’s visit to USARPAC, here, where he spent time with Maj. Gen. Roger Mathews, deputy commander, USARPAC, who provided a snapshot of Army operations in the Pacific, both ongoing and projected.
“There was a lot of talk about our new strategic rebalancing toward the Pacific region; that’s a program the Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno and I were fortunate enough to be involved with,” McHugh said.
“We are going to continue to do what we need to do to work on a regional basis,” McHugh added. “When we talk about the United States’ interest in the Pacific region, our concern is peace, stability and economic opportunity. We don’t view that as an America-only objective; we think it’s critical that we work with all the nations of this region to pursue what I hope are the goals that everyone shares.”
Most importantly, McHugh bolstered the recent announcement by Wiercinski that the Australian army will assign a deputy commanding general of operations to USARPAC. Maj. Gen. Richard Maxwell Burr of the Australian Defense Force has been selected for the new position.
“We look forward to Maj. Gen. Burr leading up our efforts in exercises and training,” Mathews said. “He has extensive experience in the region and is very familiar with U.S. formations and how we train, so we can really capitalize on him as a regional expert and somebody who can understand the training and the intricacies of dealing with allies in the region.
“It’s a huge win and a huge plus for us,” Mathews added.