Washington, DC – US Defense Secretary Ash Carter began a 10-day international trip yesterday that will take him to US Pacific Command in Hawaii and on to Singapore, Vietnam and India, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said.
The trip will be Carter’s second visit to the Asia-Pacific region since becoming defense secretary in February.
Defense officials said the trip will focus on further developing a strong regional security architecture in Southeast Asia that promotes transparency, builds trust and helps address the challenges in the region.
Carter’s first stop will be Honolulu, to attend change-of-command ceremonies for US Pacific Command and US Pacific Fleet, Warren said.
Regional Approach to Maritime Security
After the ceremonies, Warren said, Carter will continue to Asia, where he will emphasize a regional approach to maritime security, build relationships with key partners and seek out new areas of defense cooperation, all as part of the “next phase of the rebalance.”
In each country, Carter will spend his first day viewing critical security areas and seeing firsthand the work of partner militaries before meeting with government officials to advance bilateral relationships, defense officials said.
“Over the next 10 days,” Warren said, “Carter will reaffirm the US rebalance to the Asia-Pacific.”
Discussions with counterparts from the region will help US partners further develop a strong regional security architecture that is inclusive, transparent and couched in international law, he added.