by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
4/10/2015 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visited Team Osan April 9 at Osan Air Base.
During the visit, Carter held a troop call in Hangar 1732 where he
briefly spoke about the importance of the United States' role in Asia
before taking questions from the crowd and then coining, and thanking,
more than 200 service members.
Among the topics Carter spoke on were: the importance of the U.S.'s
alliance with the Asia/Pacific region and Korea in particular,
readiness, the DoD's priority of attracting and retaining the best
service members possible, and the importance of security.
After speaking briefly, Carter took questions from the audience. The
Defense Secretary addressed topics of rotating forces to Korea,
retirement compensation for service members, and any forthcoming changes
to the Korean theater.
On the rotating of forces, Carter said he is pleased with the new methods, but he is also open to feedback.
"I think right now that it's working out very well because readiness is at a premium," said Carter.
Retirement compensation will not be coercively changed for any active
service members, said Carter. Although the Defense Secretary noted there
are discussions about altering the military's retirement model, these
changes will simply give service members a choice.
"We're not going to change the game for anyone that's already in the game," said Carter.
Ultimately, the Defense Secretary said that any change to the retirement
system will be driven by a desire to recruit the best personnel
"This isn't about saving money," said Carter.
Asked about the future of the U.S.'s role in Korea, Carter said that in
the present and future, a lot of focus will be put into the Korean, and
"A lot of newer capabilities will be flowing into here," said Carter.
"This is a demanding theater with one-half of the world's wealth and
Above all, Carter said that the U.S. alliance with Korea and the rest of
the Asia/Pacific region is pivotal and that the DoD needs to attract
and retain the best people possible to work in this vital environment.