SAN DIEGO, April 26, 2010 — Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III arrived here today to visit with servicemembers and discuss asymmetric threats to the United States during a three-day trip to California that also will include talks with top officials from high-tech companies.
Lynn said he expects to do as much listening as talking.
“I want to hear what they are saying and what they are thinking,” he said. “All truth is not found in Washington,” he added, with a smile.
Lynn will thank California-based military units for their efforts and sacrifices. The units he will visit all have seen recent deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, or, in the case of the USS Carl Vinson, to Haiti as part of Operation Unified Response. The ship was one of the first to arrive after the magnitude 7 earthquake in January. Haitian officials believe the earthquake killed more than 250,000 people in and around the capital of Port-au-Prince.
Lynn will speak to members of the helicopter squadrons who deployed aboard the USS Carl Vinson, one of the first ships on the scene in Haiti. The helicopters were employed to fly many people hurt in the quake to the Vinson and the hospital ship USNS Comfort for life-saving medical treatment. The Vinson was relocating from Norfolk to San Diego when the earthquake struck. The ship quickly embarked helicopter squadrons and made a beeline for Haiti.
The deputy secretary also is scheduled to visit nearby Camp Pendleton, where he will receive briefings on how the Marines there prepare for deployment – many Pendleton units will deploy to Afghanistan. Lynn also will meet with members of the 1st Marine Division. He said he particularly is looking forward to visiting the infantry immersion trainer that’s on the base.
Lynn also will visit the Wounded Warrior Battalion and the new barracks constructed to house the Marines assigned to the unit. He specifically will look at facilities for servicemembers affected by “the signature wounds of these wars – traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress,” he said.
Tomorrow, Lynn is scheduled to visit Vandenberg Air Force Base, where he will receive briefings on space operations at the base. “I need to understand what their capabilities are,” he said. “It always helps to meet the people.”
The deputy secretary then will move to Los Angeles, where he will address the World Affairs Council. He will discuss the strategy that President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates have put into place, with a particular focus on the asymmetric threats facing the United States. These include threats in the cyber world, the threats posed by rogue states and missile proliferation, and the threats from terrorist groups who want to obtain nuclear technologies and materials.
On April 28, Lynn will move on to the San Francisco area, where he will meet with CEOs of high-tech companies in the region.
“I’ll be visiting Facebook [headquarters] and talk with CEOs there,” he said. “My focus will be cybersecurity and to get an industry, high-tech view of how they see the security challenge.”
Lynn stressed that every meeting during the trip will be a conversation with all involved. “I certainly hope I learn more than I impart,” he said.
He will return to Washington later this week.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)