Visit to Australia of Commander United States Pacific Command, Admiral Willard

Today in Perth I met with the Com­man­der of the Unit­ed States Pacif­ic Com­mand, Admi­ral Robert Willard, who is in Aus­tralia at the invi­ta­tion of the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment.
Togeth­er we vis­it­ed HMAS Stir­ling.
The Aus­tralia US Alliance remains the bedrock of our strate­gic, secu­ri­ty and defence arrange­ments.

Admi­ral Willard’s vis­it pro­vid­ed an oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­cuss strate­gic, secu­ri­ty and mil­i­tary coop­er­a­tion.

Today Admi­ral Willard and I dis­cussed recent devel­op­ments in our region, includ­ing the very con­cern­ing events on the Kore­an penin­su­la.

We also dis­cussed the US Force Pos­ture Review and I reit­er­at­ed Australia’s con­tin­u­ing sup­port for a strong US pres­ence in the Asia Pacif­ic region.

Admi­ral Willard’s vis­it fol­lows the recent AUSMIN con­sul­ta­tions on 8 Novem­ber, dur­ing which Sec­re­tary Gates and I dis­cussed the impor­tance of the US Force Pos­ture Review.

This Review seeks to ensure that the US glob­al pos­ture has the flex­i­bil­i­ty and ver­sa­til­i­ty to address a broad spec­trum of mil­i­tary require­ments across the world, but it is also about US Force Pos­ture in the Asia Pacif­ic Region.

Giv­en Australia’s inter­est in the Review, Sec­re­tary Gates and I agreed at AUSMIN to estab­lish a joint work­ing group on force pos­ture to dis­cuss pos­si­ble oppor­tu­ni­ties for enhanced bilat­er­al defence coop­er­a­tion between our two coun­tries.

The first work­ing group meet­ing will fol­low Admi­ral Willard’s vis­it. It will be in Can­ber­ra on 13–14 Decem­ber.

While in Aus­tralia Admi­ral Willard has vis­it­ed a num­ber of key Defence estab­lish­ments this week, includ­ing RAAF Tin­dal, Robert­son Bar­racks, Lar­rakeyah Bar­racks, HMAS Coon­awar­ra, and RAAF Dar­win.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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