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Army's presence in Pacific won't diminish

Apr. 9, 2014 - 07:38PM   |  
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HONOLULU — The commander of U.S. Army Pacific said the military’s presence in the region won’t diminish despite cuts elsewhere.

The Army’s presence in the Pacific has grown to 106,000 active-duty soldiers from about 90,000. That’s a nearly 18 percent increase as military officials plan drastic cuts elsewhere over the next five years, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter, said Hawaii’s approximately 22,500 active-duty soldier count will remain about the same. He also said a 4,300-soldier Stryker Brigade that was said to be vulnerable to cuts and possibly moving to Washington state won’t be leaving.

“How we have forces based in the Pacific we see remaining about the same for the next several years,” Brooks said.

“There are some adjustments that we know we’re going to have to do,” Brooks said, citing as an example his own headquarters being cut 13 percent. Those cuts are expected to be carried out through attrition.

The four-star general made the comments Tuesday at a Waikiki news conference. The Association of the United States Army is holding a land power in the Pacific forum through Thursday. It’s the second year the event is being held in Hawaii.

Thirteen countries sent delegations to the conference.

The conference defines land power as the Army, Marine Corps, Special Operations Command Pacific and the equivalent forces of other nations, said retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan, a former Army chief of staff and now president of the association.

“The U.S. Army, as you know, has been in the Pacific for well over 100 years,” he said.

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