09/25/2017: Monday Sep. 18, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) Adm. Harry Harris met with Australian Minister of Defence Marise Payne, at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.
Adm. Harris welcomed the Minister’s first visit to PACOM headquarters.
During Adm. Harris’ most recent trip to Australia last June, he participated with Minister Payne in the Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in Sydney.
The two leaders began the meeting by acknowledging the importance of the Australia-U.S. alliance.
Adm. Harris stated that Australian and American interests and values have intertwined our histories, and that with current challenges in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, the Alliance is as important today as it has ever been.
The two leaders discussed the threat posed by North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs, ballistic missile defense (BMD), and the importance of coming together as an international community to hold Kim Jong-Un’s regime accountable.
They also talked about counterterrorism operations in the region and the emerging opportunities to create more multilateral partnerships with other nations throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
Adm. Harris stressed the significance of regional alliances and the U.S. commitment to the Australia-U.S. “mateship.”
He reaffirmed the U.S. pledge to respond effectively to traditional and non-traditional security challenges in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
He also emphasized the preparedness of PACOM’s joint forces to fight tonight if called upon, using a full range of military options in defense of the U.S. homeland and allies like Australia.
Adm. Harris welcomed Thursday’s joint statement by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Minister Payne condemning the North Korean intermediate range ballistic missile launch over Japan, and their call for greater international cooperation in pressuring North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program.
Adm. Harris said that Australia and the United States stood together against tyranny and oppression in the 20th Century and that the world expects no less in the 21st Century.
He praised Australia’s commitment to the rules-based international system, as demonstrated by a recent naval task group deployment to Indo-Asia-Pacific waters.
CAMP H.M. SMITH, HI, UNITED STATES
Video by Master Sgt. Todd Kabalan
Defense Media Activity Forward Center