Military News

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Citizen-soldiers Need Greater Stability, Reserve Chief Says

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 15, 2009 - As the Army draws down in Iraq and focuses increasingly on Afghanistan, the Army Reserve chief said he's preparing his troops for the demands likely to be made of them -- and urging Army leadership to give them the predictability their dual citizen-soldier lives demand. "We have to be very careful that we don't jerk reserve soldiers around," Army Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz told American Forces Press Service, adding that he's been adamant in reminding Army leadership about that.

Because they have obligations to their civilian employers as well as the military, reservists can't be asked to do abrupt about-faces without sufficient planning time, Stultz said, whether it's dedicating them to a deployment or making a mission change.

Ideally, Stultz said, deploying units should know when and where they are going, and what mission they'll be conducting, six months out.

"In other words, don't have me put a unit in place, getting ready to go to Iraq, and at the last minute say, 'No, we don't need them,' and turn them off," he said. "Those soldiers are preparing their civilian lives, their jobs, their apartment leases, etc. You have to be very careful as you look out ahead and say, 'If we look like we are going to off-ramp a unit, you've got plenty of time to let them know, to get their lives together.'

"Likewise," he continued, "don't off-ramp them for Iraq and then a month later on-ramp them for Afghanistan. Let's be smart enough to say, 'If we are not going to need this capability here, do we need it somewhere else?'"

Whenever he meets with Army reservists, whether stateside or in the combat theater, Stultz said he cautions them not to assume the drawdown in Iraq will have an immediate impact on them.

"I don't want to set false expectations," he said.

Army reservists will continue to have an important mission in Iraq, even as combat forces draw down, he said. "We are the enablers, the combat support and service support forces," he said. "We are always the first to go in. We are always the last to go out.

"So even if you have a drawdown of forces in Iraq, you are going to have to have some kind of force there to draw it down. And you are going to have some kind of force there to maintain a footprint for what is going behind," he said. "So that is going to be the enablers."

Similarly, Stultz said, Army reservists will have a key responsibility for supporting any force buildup in Afghanistan.

"One of the first requirements you have is for the enablers to get in there and establish the footprint for the combat forces to fall in on," he said.

Stultz was here for the Sept. 12 ribbon cutting of a new Army Strong Community Center to serve reserve-component as well as active-duty families who don't live near a major military installation. The center, the first of what Stultz said he hopes will be many community-based "virtual installations," will support families he calls critical to Reserve soldiers' readiness.

Stultz used his visit here as an opportunity to highlight the role not only families, but also communities and employers, play in the Army Reserve's success.

The military signed a community covenant with the city of Rochester to galvanize community support. Stultz also welcomed two new members into the Army Reserve's Employer Partnership Initiative, which helps the Army Reserve and civilian employers share the same skilled work force. The Builders Exchange of Rochester and Monroe County Sheriff's Department both signed on to the program, joining more than 500 other employers around the country now participating.

Stultz said he's been amazed by the "overwhelming" response to the employer partnership. More employers who learn about the program contact the Army Reserve every week, asking how they, too, can tap into the skills Army reservists offer, he said.

"It's kind of like the perfect storm," Stultz said of bringing together Reserve soldiers, their families, local employers and community leaders in a single event.

"We did the community covenant signing, so the community said, 'We're here for you.' We cut the ribbon on the Army Strong Community Center that says, 'Here is where the community can plug in [and provide support].'"

Meanwhile, the ribbon cutting demonstrated to families that the military is going to take care of them, and to reservists that if they're deployed, they know their families have that support system in place, he said.

"What a great day for the Army," he said.

World War II Fighter Pilot

Hello, My name is Jerry Yellin, I flew P-515’s during the war and am the author of two published books, Of War and Weddings and The Blackened Canteen. I am a member of the Military Writers Society of America and an essay I wrote is a finalist in the Peoples Choice Award. I would appreciate it if you watch it on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/jerryellin

then go to

http://www.militarywriters.com/2009ConferencePeoplesChoice.html#VoteNow
and vote for me. It would be great if you sent this to all of your friends and family and ask them to pass it along too. I really would like to get this message out around the Globe.

Jerry was a guest on American Heroes Radio, Episode No. 59.
Captain Jerry Yellin, USA “enlisted in the Army Air Corps on Feb. 15, 1942, his 18th birthday and graduated from Luke Field in August, 1943 as a fighter pilot. He was in combat in the Pacific Theater and Iwo Jima with the 78th Fighter Squadron and participated in the first land based fighter mission over Japan on April 7, 1945 and the last mission of the war on August 14, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with an Oak Leaf cluster and the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf clusters. He was discharged a Captain in December 1945.” Captain Jerry Yellin is the author of Of War & Weddings: A Legacy of Two Fathers and The Blackened Canteen.

Listen to the Interview
http://www.hitechcj.com/americanheroesradio/world_war_ii_fighter_pilot.html

Memorial Calls for Photos of Vietnam Vets

American Forces Press Service

Sept. 15, 2009 - The National Call for Photos, a campaign to gather images of the more than 58,000 men and women whose names are on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, will be launched Sept. 17 at a Newseum event here hosted by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and FedEx Office. FedEx Office will use its locations across the country to help in gathering photos.

Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial here, promoting healing and educating people about the impact of the Vietnam War.

The fund's latest initiative is The Education Center at The Wall, an underground facility near the memorial that is being designed to help visitors discover the stories of those named on The Wall and celebrate the values embodied by servicemembers from all of America's wars.

Exhibits will include a wall of photographs of people whose names are on The Wall, a selection of the more than 100,000 items that have been left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a timeline of key military events of the Vietnam War and a history of the memorial.

The center also will celebrate the values embodied by America's servicemembers: loyalty, duty, respect, service, honor, integrity and courage, officials said. An exit exhibit will show images of those who have served in America's conflicts, from the Revolutionary War to Iraq.

More than $20 million has been raised for the education center, including a $10 million gift from Time Warner. It is estimated that the center will cost $85 million to build.

Other Memorial Fund initiatives include educational programs for students and teachers, a traveling Wall replica that honors veterans and a humanitarian and mine-action program in Vietnam.

Face of Defense: Airman Sheds Pounds, Gains Health

By Air Force Master Sgt. Stephen Delgado
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 15, 2009 - As last Thanksgiving passed and the leftovers were all gone, Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Ken Holcomb had an epiphany about his portly self. Nearly a year later and 70 pounds lighter, Holcomb is getting ready to run the Air Force Marathon Sept. 19 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He plans to blog about the race along the way.

"I hadn't failed a physical fitness test, but I wasn't excelling. I ran a marathon in 2007, but with my job, it was getting harder to get out for regular runs," said Holcomb, superintendent of the Air Force Media Center at the Air Force Public Affairs Agency.

"There aren't a lot of areas around my office in Arlington to run, and it was hard to find someone to run with," he said. "I realized that I was getting way too heavy and was not in the physical shape I wanted to be in," Holcomb said. He decided to answer the "wake-up call" that meeting the standard wasn't enough.

The new standards of the Air Force fitness program require airmen to test twice per year, which Holcomb thinks is a good idea. "I used to procrastinate when it came to fitness," he said. "The new standards will help someone stay in shape as a way of life instead of just trying to pass a test."

Holcomb said he wanted to lead by example, so he started to set short-term goals. "I had a physical fitness test coming up," he explained, "and I wanted to do well."

Through his "Fat Sergeant's Blog," the newly inspired athlete describes what has become his strict regimen of running, weightlifting and eating right.

"Vegetables and fruit are a major part of my diet," he said. "I enjoy vegetables a lot more now than I used to." Holcomb cut down on processed foods, simple sugars and white flour.

"I've learned that my body was made to process food, not to eat food that is processed," he said.

Holcomb joined a running club to help him train and to work out with other people. He also goes to the gym with his 15-year-old son to lift weights and do strength training.

"I just celebrated my 25th anniversary in the military, so I set a trifecta of goals," he said. By sticking with his regimen, Holcomb has reached two of his three goals: attending his 25th high school reunion weighing the same as he did when he graduated, and getting a perfect score on his physical fitness test for the first time in his career.

"I was very pleased with the time [in which] I accomplished the 1.5-mile run. I did it in 9 minutes and 27 seconds, which is a good enough time for an 18-year-old airman to get max points," the 43-year-old noncommissioned officer said.

Holcomb's third goal is to run and finish the 26.2-mile Air Force Marathon – although he says running marathons can be humbling.

"I'll be running and think I'm doing well, and then a 75-year-old person will pass me. I want to be that person when I'm older," he said. "I do take satisfaction in realizing that I'm running faster at age 43 than I did when I was 18."

(Air Force Master Sgt. Stephen Delgado serves with the Air Force Public Affairs Agency.)

MILITARY CONTRACTS September 15, 2009

AIR FORCE
CSC Applied Technologies, LLC of Fort Worth, Texas was awarded a $70,504,014 contract for base operating support and aircraft maintenance for Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma in support of undergraduate pilot training for its first year option. At this time, no money has been obligated. AETC/CONS/LGCK, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas is the contracting activity (FA3002-08-C-0007,P00025).

General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc. of Dayton, Ohio was awarded a $49,998,000 contract to perform technical efforts to specialized studies using unique subject matter experts and innovative solutions for the purpose of conducting research and advancing the current state-of-the-art in materials technologies, interactions, or applications in several program areas within the survivability portfolio. At this time, $408,000 has been obligated. Det 1 AFRL/PKMM, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity (FA8650-09-D-5430).

BAE Systems Technical Services of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded a $39,553,260 contract to manage, operate, maintain, and logistically support the solid state phased array radar system at Beale, Air Force Base, Calif., Thule Air Base, Greenland, Clear Air Force Station, Alaska, and Royal Air Force Flyingdales, United Kingdom. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 21 CONS/LGCZG, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado is the contracting activity (FA2517-06-C-8001, P00165).

ARCTEC, Alaska of Elmendorf, Air Force Base, Alaska was awarded a $35,549,366 contract which will provide for operation and maintenance of the Alaska Radar System consisting of 15 remote radar sites for a twelve-month period. At this time no money has been obligated. 3d CONS, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska is the contracting activity (FA5000-04-C-0011).

Secureboration, Inc. of Melbourne, Fla., was awarded a $32,000,000 contract which will provide transition and development command and control ontology-based semantic interoperability framework technologies to enable the passing of vital pieces of information between operationa systems in a timely manner and to allow for critical linkage of data between the entities that require them as a step in achieving DoD net centric compliance.. At this time $780,000 has been obligated. AFRL/RIKD, Rome, New York is the contracting activity (FA8750-09-D-0195).

Rehabilitation Services of Madison, Miss., was awarded a $19,547,353 contract to provide a full food service contract at Keesler, Air Force Base, Mississippi. At this time $11,581,103 has been obligated. 81 CONS, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi is the contracting activity (FA3010-08-C-0002,P00024).

NAVY
Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $35,786,526 cost-plus fixed-fee delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-06-G-0001) to provide Phase 2 non-recurring engineering for the AH-1Z build new helicopter airframe, and to develop an engineering change proposal for incorporation of the T700-401C engine. Work will be performed in Ft. Worth, Texas (50 percent) and Amarillo, Texas (50 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $38,786,526 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

CDM Federal Programs Corp., Newport News, Va., is being awarded a maximum $25,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect/engineering contract for water and wastewater system inspection, testing and analyses. Projects can include inspection, testing, evaluation and analyzing water supply, transmission, treatment, and distribution systems; and wastewater collection and treatment systems; development and implementation of asset management systems for Navy utilities. Work will be performed at various government facilities under the cognizance of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic. The services are required for Department of Defense facilities that receive support services from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic including, but not limited to, the following areas: the continental United States, Alaska, Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via Navy Electronic Commerce Online and Federal Business Opportunities websites, on an unrestricted basis with four proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N62470-09-D-9037).

Square D Company, Palatine, Ill., is being awarded $23,081,337 for 11 firm-fixed priced task orders under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N62583-08-D-0137) for design and installation of electric, gas, steam, and water metering to provide utility and energy monitoring at various locations throughout the Navy Region Southeast. The work to be performed includes the design, procurement, installation, and testing of building level advanced metering solutions in support of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 at the Navy Region Southeast. This will allow the Navy to cost-effectively allocate and manage electricity, natural gas, and water commodities. Work will be performed in Fla. (50 percent), Texas (25 percent), and Miss. (25 percent), and is expected to be completed by September, 2011. Funds are provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three proposals were received for the above task orders in response to a single task order solicitation. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Specialty Center Acquisitions, Port Hueneme, Calif., is the contracting activity.

CACI Systems, Inc., Chantilly, Va., is being awarded a $19,706,909 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00421-06-C-0074) to exercise an option for technical support, engineering services and supplies in support of the Special Communications Requirements Division of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. This modification provides support for various Navy, Army, and Air Force, Special Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance electronic systems. The estimated level of effort for this option is 286,000 man-hours. Work will be performed in Lexington Park, Md., (80 percent) and St. Inigoes, Md., (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Milpower Inc., El Cajon, Calif., is being awarded an estimated $17,656,250 multiple award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-priced contract to provide 100W and 200W power amplifiers (PA) for the Digital Modular Radio (DMR) program. SPAWAR is awarding 100W and 200W DMR PA contract on behalf of its organizational partner, the Navy's Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Intelligence Systems. Work will be performed in El Cajon, Calif, and work is expected to be completed September 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Commerce Business Daily's Federal Business Opportunities website and the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central website, with an unlimited number of proposals solicited and two offers received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N00039-09-D-0135).

Guardian Technology Group, Crawfordsville, Ind. (N00164-09-D-JN14); Northside Machine Company, Dugger, Ind. (N00164-09-D-JN60); MCD Machine Inc., Bloomington, Ind. (N00164-09-D-JN61); C&S Machine, Plainville, Ind. (N00164-09-D-JN62), Precision Laser Services, Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind. (N00164-09-D-JN63); and Colbert Mfg, Co., Inc, Lavergn, Tenn. (N00164-09-D-JN64), are being awarded firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite -quantity multiple award contract with a maximum value of $14,000,000. The aforementioned contract awardees will compete for delivery orders for various types of gun-mount components. MH-60 Sierra, MH-60 Romeo, and V-22 gun mount components along with bore sight kits are being procured to be implemented in various combat situations. The multiple gun mounts will be used to support a wide array of military personnel as well as branches. Work will be performed at the following sites which is dependent upon which contractor receives each competitive order: Crawfordsville, Ind., Dugger, Ind., Bloomington, Ind.; Plainville, Ind., Fort Wayne, Ind., and Lavergn, Tenn., and is expected to be completed by September 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online and Federal Business Opportunities websites, with 14 proposals being received. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Indiana, is the contracting activity.

PDI-HSW Joint Venture, Seattle, Washington, is being awarded a $13,034,000 firm-fixed price contract for the construction of a central utility plant at the Naval Hospital, Guam. The work includes exterior reinforced concrete walls, windows, roofing, mechanical and electrical systems that is compatible with tropical environmental and seismic conditions. Support facilities include a primary water distribution system, other required installed utility systems and modifications, sidewalks, and related site improvements. Work will be performed in Guam, Marianas Island, and is expected to be completed by February 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with five proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (N62742-09-C-1308).

Veraxx Engineering Corp.*, Chantilly, Va., is being awarded a $12,147,957 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N61339-07-D-0002) for the design, implementation, test, and delivery of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Aviation Training Systems (ATS) aviation distributed virtual training environment. Work will be performed in New River, N.C., (25 percent); Cherry Point, N.C., (20 percent); Miramar, Calif., (15 percent); Camp Pendleton, Calif., (15 percent); Chantilly, Va., (10 percent); Beaufort, S.C., (5 percent); Yuma, Ariz., (5 percent); and Twenty-nine Palms, Calif., (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Talla-Com Tallahassee, Tallahassee Fla., is being awarded an estimated $11,406,250 multiple award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-priced contract, to provide 100W power amplifiers (PA) for the Digital Modular Radio (DMR) program. SPAWAR is awarding 100W DMR PA contract on behalf of its organizational partner, the Navy's Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Intelligence Systems. Work will be performed in Tallahassee Fla., and work is expected to be completed September 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Commerce Business Daily's Federal Business Opportunities website and the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central website, with an unlimited number of proposals solicited and two offers received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N00039-09-D-0136).

Data Management Services Joint Venture*, Silver Spring, Md., is being awarded a $10,240,174 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N61339-07-D-0014) to provide training to include instructional, management, administrative and technical training services in support of the Center for Security Forces training programs. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va., (30 percent); Camp Lejuene, N.C., (20 percent); San Diego, Calif., (14 percent); Brunswick, Mass., (13 percent); Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, (6 percent); Lackland, Texas, (6 percent); Gulfport, Miss., (6 percent); Bangor, Wash., (2 percent); Yokosuka, Japan, (2 percent); and Mayport, Fla., (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Omega Aerial Refueling Services, Inc., Alexandria, Va., is being awarded a $6,899,580 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-07-D-0009) to exercise an option for contractor owned and operated aircraft in support of the Commercial Air Services (CAS) Program. The CAS Program provides aerial refueling tanking for Navy, other Department of Defense and government agencies, and Foreign Military Sales cases aircraft. This option provides for an additional 54,000 flight minutes, which equates to 900 flight hours. Work will be performed at various CONUS locations (45 percent East Coast and 35 percent West Coast); and at various OCONUS locations (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Sustainable Oils, LLC, Seattle, Wash.*, is being awarded a maximum $6,680,000 firm fixed price, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for fuel. Other location of performance is in Texas. Using service is Air Force. There were originally 211 proposals solicited with seven responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Oct. 30, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-09-D-0520).

UOP, LLC – A Honeywell Co., (UOP), Des Plaines, Ill., is being awarded a maximum $6,400,000 firm fixed price, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for fuel. Other location of performance is in Texas. Using service is Air Force. There were originally 211 proposals solicited with seven responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Oct. 30, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-09-D-0517).

Asia-Pacific Importance Increasing, Commander Says

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 15, 2009 - The Asia-Pacific region will become even more important to U.S. defense and economic interests in the future, the top commander in the region said today. And the United States has become an indispensible partner in the region on both accounts, said Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, commander of U.S. Pacific Command.

Keating spoke here today at The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a foreign policy "think tank," offering up what he called a "retrospective" look at U.S. progress in the region.

The career sailor relinquishes his command next month and will retire after 42 years of service, most spent serving within the command.

"On a daily basis I'm convinced that we are in better shape in the Asia-Pacific than we were 25 years ago," Keating said of the U.S. military's oldest and largest combatant command.

The command's geographic responsibility covers about half the Earth's surface, stretching from the waters off the west coast of the United States to the western border of India, and from Antarctica to the North Pole.

Thirty-six nations make up the Asia-Pacific region, and it is home to more than half of the world's population.

Keating said that the United States trades $1 trillion annually with countries in Asia-Pacific, and 20 million containers of goods course the Indian or Pacific oceans annually. Fifteen of the 20 largest ports are in the region, with nine in China alone.

On the military front, five of the largest armies in the world are in the region, and the United States has five standing treaties there with Japan, Australia, Thailand, the Philippines and South Korea.

As China continues to build its military capabilities in the region, Keating said he is not worried.

"Some folks might think that we at U.S. Pacific Command might spend every waking moment worrying ... concerned about the People's Republic of China. We don't," Keating said. "We're watching them. We're paying close attention. But I don't view China as a threat. We don't want them to view us as a threat."

Some of the asymmetric capabilities the country is developing are of interest to the United States, he said, such as anti-satellite, cyber and submarine warfare efforts.

"They're building some pretty good capability," he said. "We're watching it."

But, Keating said the United States has recently resumed military-to-military dialogue with China. Those efforts were suspended by China in 2008 after the United States announced an arms sale package with Taiwan.

Officials from both countries now have restored those talks, and about three weeks ago the dialogue were resumed. Keating said he hopes to continue the dialogue and has encouraged the Chinese to participate in humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and search and rescue exercises, hoping to grow the relationship from there.

Keating said he was "cautiously optimistic" about the way ahead with China and has invited them to observe recent military exercises in the region.

"We want to draw the Chinese out," Keating said. "We want to ask them to manifest their intention for peaceful rise and harmonious integration by exercising, not just with the United States of America, but with as many nations as they ... we could agree could participate."

Keating said the United States still seeks North Korea's return to the Six-Party talks, with the overarching goal being a "certifiable, denuclearized peninsula."

"We are a ways from the Six-Party talks and we at U.S. Pacific Command remain firmly in support of the State Department efforts ...," Keating said.

More than 28,000 troops are stationed in South Korea. Keating said commanders are working to make the tours there longer so troops can bring their families. They want to continue building better housing and schools. In the past two decades, the tours typically have been unaccompanied for one year.

Keating called Japan a "powerful ally" and the United States has about 50,000 troops stationed there. As the country's newly elected government transitions into power, Keating said he anticipates no significant change to the U.S.-Japan military relationship.

Keating will travel to Japan next week, he said. He has already had conversations with senior defense staff there about the transition.

Keating said he recently visited India, home of the world's largest democracy. He said officials there have committed to increasing the military relationship between the country and the United States, as well as increasing the number of joint training exercises and personnel exchanges.

"I'm convinced India is and will remain a very important partner of ours in a critical part of the world for all of us," Keating said.

Keating said that he spends the majority of his time in command traveling the diverse region and support continues to grow, he said.

"The support worldwide has never been better," Keating said. "Our role is instrumental in continuing to assure peace to maintain stability so as to enhance economic prosperity all throughout the Asia-Pacific region."

The key to this support is maintaining the U.S. presence there, he said. About 325,000 servicemembers and civilians are assigned to the command, about one-fifth of total U.S. military strength.

"Nothing beats American forces being in a foreign country working with the men and women of that country, developing an appreciation for the culture, emphasizing at the end of the day the partnership ... in the Asia-Pacific region," he said.