Secretary identifies linchpin in Army’s Pacific plans

| April 24, 2015 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Parish, 2-35th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, demonstrates one of the many fire-starting survival techniques taught at the 25th ID Lightning Academy’s JOTC to Secretary of the Army John McHugh during his visit here, Tuesday. McHugh made the trip to Oahu and the Tropic Lightning Division to get a firsthand look at what he referred to as one of the “linchpins” of the Army’s success in the Pacific region.

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Parish, 2-35th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, demonstrates one of the many fire-starting survival techniques taught at the 25th ID Lightning Academy’s JOTC to Secretary of the Army John McHugh during his visit here, Tuesday. McHugh made the trip to Oahu and the Tropic Lightning Division to get a firsthand look at what he referred to as one of the “linchpins” of the Army’s success in the Pacific region.

Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Everette
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Describing the U.S. Army-Pacific and the 25th Infantry Division as a “linchpin” in America’s strategic rebalances to the Pacific, Army Secretary John McHugh said ground forces are key to any success.

“I don’t want people to think that this part of the world is just a sea and air domain,” McHugh said during a visit to Oahu and the 25th ID, April 21. “The United States Army has had a very long and successful presence here, and we’re convinced you have a lot more important work still to do.”

The 25th ID and its subordinate units play a large role in the Pacific as the Army’s only forward deployed infantry division. Across the Pacific, in places like Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia and the Republic of Korea, thousands of Army forces are supporting operations to strengthen American partnerships and alliances as part of the Pacific Pathways initiative.

Pacific Pathways is an innovative approach to exercise deployment that links a series of training exercises to create multinational training opportunities with regional partners across a range of missions from security to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Soldiers from the 25th often guide and execute Pacific Pathways missions, as well as operate unique Army training at the Lightning Academy’s Jungle Operations Training Course.

During his visit, McHugh saw and heard about the division’s capabilities from Soldiers of nearly every rank and position.

“This division is a linchpin in our Pacific plans,” McHugh told the Soldiers. “I’ve been seeing and hearing quite a bit about the important roles you play here, and some of them are very unique. In this part of the world, the things the 25th ID encounters aren’t necessarily seen elsewhere, and the opportunities for training and partnership are one-of-a-kind.”

The division’s 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team is currently in the Philippines on the final leg of a Pacific Pathways deployment, having recently completed exercises in Thailand and the Republic of Korea.

“As we come back to the Pacific, rebalancing as it’s being called, the mission here is going to be an increasingly important one. You aren’t just doing good stuff in the 25th Infantry Division, you are doing important stuff.”

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Category: Leadership, News

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