SINGAPORE (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Jonathan Greenert visited Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific (COMLOG WESTPAC) May 13, during a trip to Singapore to meet with local officials, speak at an international maritime security conference and visit the littoral combat ship, USS Freedom.
The CNO addressed Sailors and Navy civilians assigned to COMLOG WESTPAC, Navy Region Singapore (NRS) and various tenant commands during an all hands call held at the NRS Terror Club recreation facility.
During the question and answer session, Greenert highlighted the littoral combat ship USS Freedom's (LCS 1) deployment to Southeast Asia as a crucial part in U.S. Navy support to the Asia-Pacific rebalance. The CNO stressed the importance of continuing exercises such as Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), a series of bilateral exercises held annually to strengthen relationships and enhance interoperability with nine regional navies. Freedom will participate in several phases of CARAT while deployed.
"The Navy's going to get bigger [in Asia Pacific]," said Greenert. "Freedom and her presence here is just the beginning. This part of the world is our focus for the future. This region is most important. The relationships and exercises here need to keep going."
Greenert discussed the current relationship and past roles COMLOG WESTPAC has with countries within the region.
"The logistics that COMLOG WESTPAC provides are critical. This is a primary logistics hub. During my time here before, we had the great tsunami of 2004. If it were not for COMLOG, we would never have gotten that operation to provide relief and aid off the ground," said Greenert.
Greenert also discussed the Navy's enduring commitment to maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation in the region.
"The Asia-Pacific is an enormous area. We have alliances, partnerships and potential partnerships. What we have to do is work on the capabilities, the operations and the exercises that resonate with different regional navies."
The CNO also responded to questions from the audience on a wide range of topics, including the budget, new technologies, tuition assistance, perform to serve, bio-fuels, and sexual assault awareness and prevention.
"It was refreshing to get that level of candor from someone so high in our echelon of service," said Yeoman 2nd Class Eric Sly, assigned to COMLOG WESTPAC.
In closing, Greenert emphasized the importance of the Navy's presence in the Asia-Pacific and how regional Navy investments are paying off in a tangible manner as relationships with regional navies continue to evolve and strengthen.
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