Admiral Roughhead moves to a new assignment and talks about the importance of sea comerce in the Pacific, as set out here:
Adm. Gary Roughead, the Pacific Fleet commander for nearly two years, maintains that the continual economic prosperity now experienced in Asia depends on protecting "sea lines of communication" in the Pacific Basin.Another article featuring Adm Roughhead and the U.S. in the Pacific here:
"We who live here really understand the energy that is taking place in the Pacific today -- the trade, the increasing prosperity and the emergence of the economies here," said Roughead, who has commanded two of the Navy's most advanced warships, an Aegis destroyer and cruiser.
"As we look to the future, it is clear that our prosperity is inextricably linked to the economies that are rising. The fact of the matter is that whenever you talk about trade, you have to talk about the oceans.
"The sea lines of communications that bring the resources into Asia, the fuel, the products that Asia produces that flow out into the global market, almost all of it moves on the water. The one thing that has been clear to me ... is the recognition on the part of our friends and partners in the region that security of what we call the sea lines of communication is key to that prosperity continuing to increase."
Roughead said officials are working on the placement of forces in the Pacific, but Hawaii and Guam will maintain critical naval presence. Hawaii has a key Navy shipyard and remains a critical node and forward base for ships, submarines and maritime patrol aircraft. The Navy is putting more submarines in Guam, which will also absorb 8,000 Marines who will relocate from Japan.
Guam “is going to figure into the Pacific Navy heavily,” he said. With the Marines’ moves, “we are looking at Apra Harbor,” the Navy’s main port and shore support in the Marianas. He envisions that Guam will support swapping of Littoral Combat Ship crews and mission modules; amphibious ships carrying Marines; and training in Guam and nearby islands.
“I see Guam as a place where the Navy and Marine Corps can move rapidly throughout the western Pacific,” he said, adding, “It’s going to become very important to us strategically.”