Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, met this week with top military and defense leaders and discussed critical military issues including the rebalance to the Pacific, the harmful effects of sequestration, investments in sustainable energy technology and efforts to prevent and prosecute sexual assaults in the military. Hirono met separately with Admiral Harry Harris, who will take over as Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in October, and Deborah Lee James, who will serve as Secretary of the Air Force if confirmed.
“I appreciated the opportunity to get to know Admiral Harris and Ms. James, two outstanding leaders who will play key roles in our national defense,” Hirono said. “Admiral Harris will do an excellent job taking over for Admiral Haney as Commander of the Pacific Fleet and has a deep knowledge of our military’s needs in the Pacific. Ms. James is an extremely knowledgeable and qualified candidate to serve as Secretary of the Air Force, and she would become only the second woman in history to fill that position. I wish her a quick confirmation.”
Hirono was also able to share with Harris and James some of her experiences meeting with Asia-Pacific leaders during her national defense-focused congressional delegation to China, Japan and South Korea.
Admiral Harry Harris is the highest-ranking Japanese-American naval officer. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Harris has served in every geographic combatant command region and was assigned in 2011 as the assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Deborah Lee James is President of the Technology and Engineering Sector at Science Applications International Corporation. Her professional experience includes a decade as a staff member on the House Armed Services Committee and serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Business Executives for National Security. James was nominated by President Obama in August and the Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to vote on her nomination next week.
Headquartered at Oahu’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the U.S. Pacific Fleet plays a critical role in maintaining the security and economic interests of our nation and its allies in the Asia-Pacific Region. The fleet’s command covers 100 million square miles and is supported by approximately 200 marine vessels, nearly 1,100 aircraft and more than 140,000 sailors and civilians.
The U.S. Air Force has a major presence in Hawaii, with more than 9,500 active duty, National Guard and Reserve and civilian personnel.
Filed under: Announcements, Hawaii, Military, National Affairs, Security Tagged: | Admiral Harry Harris, Deborah Lee James, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Rebalance of Pacific, Senator Mazie Hirono, U.S. Pacific Fleet