PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The chief of naval operations (CNO) appeared on local Fox affiliate television station KHON2's Wake Up 2day morning show in Honolulu, Jan. 19.
CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert talked to news anchor Olena Heu about the strategic importance of Hawaii and the Pacific region.
"Hawaii is really the gateway to the western Pacific," said Greenert. "Here in Hawaii, you have a hospital, a shipyard. You have ships, aircraft, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard and Airmen. Really, this is our gateway. It is probably the most important strategic base for the western Pacific, which is the centerpiece of our strategy."
In the morning show, Heu asked how potential budget cuts will impact the Navy and specifically the Navy in Hawaii. Greenert provided no details but emphasized the strategic importance of Asia Pacific and of Hawaii as a base to operate from.
"It's a matter of where the proper investments should be to really align with our strategy," adding, "Hawaii and the Pacific are key to our strategy and that will be reflected in the budget."
Adm. and Mrs. Darleen Greenert arrived in Hawaii, Jan. 18, to meet with Sailors and their families and to participate in the U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) change of command ceremony, Jan. 20. Adm. Cecil Haney, former deputy of U.S. Strategic Command, will be replacing Adm. Patrick Walsh as PACFLT commander.
On Thursday morning, Darleen Greenert visited Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) and toured the Center Drive Child Development Center with Joint Base Commander Capt. Jeff James. She also visited the Ford Island Community Center and was invited to visit the homes of several military families, where she discussed quality of life issues.
After Adm. Greenert's morning show, the CNO held an All Hands Call with more than 500 Sailors at Sharkey Theater on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
"We are so lucky to have a generation who give much more than themselves to a larger institution, and we have a generation of people who are dedicated to our country," said Greenert. "I just want to say thank you to them and thank you to the people of Hawaii for supporting these Sailors and their families. They are truly the land of Aloha. It's a privilege to be here."
With a world map as a backdrop, Greenert fielded questions and talked about the Navy's overall strategy not only in the Pacific region but to the entire world. He said that at any given time, there are about 100 ships forward deployed around the world, more than half of which are in the Pacific region.
"The focus of the Navy in the future is the Asia Pacific region - where you are," said Greenert.
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