USA — Lynn to Visit Servicemembers, Talk with High-Tech Leaders

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)