The PJ Tatler

Defense Secretary: Asia Rebalance Means Best Military Equipment Goes There

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told U.S. troops in South Korea that President Obama’s Asia rebalance will mean the newest, best equipment will go to the region.

Carter said at the Osan Air Base event that the rebalance “means is that a lot of our newer capabilities, the ones that we’re making investments in, are going to be flowing into this theater because of the importance we attach to it.”

“So you probably know we’re building new stealth fighters, a new stealth bomber, several new ship classes, a number of new Army equipment sets of all kinds, ranging from vehicles to command and control and so forth,” he said.

“And because this is a very demanding theater, and because, as I said, half of the world’s population and half of the world’s wealth resides in this theater, it makes sense that we have — and some of the most demanding kinds of situations, potential military situation, also are out here, we need to do that.”

The Defense secretary stressed “that’s what the whole rebalance is about.”

“Let’s focus our newer capabilities out here. So you’ll see a lot of the new stuff showing up here first. And that’s deliberate and that’s appropriate because this is a demanding theater and that’s what rebalance is all about,” Carter said.

“God forbid anything happens out here, it’s big trouble and it hasn’t happened because you’re ready, as we say, to fight tonight. We don’t take that for granted. And the other thing I don’t take for granted is that you have families. You have futures that you want to make sure are secure. And that — and we need people who are as talented and dedicated as you are. We’re incredibly lucky as a military to have people like you.”

The Pentagon needs “to work at attracting and retaining good people,” he admitted.

“It’s not automatic and I’m really committed to doing that. I know that you do what you do because you love the country and you love the mission. And that’s great. But, you know, you also have to take care of your families. You have to take care of your future and so forth, so you have other concerns,” Carter said. “And we can’t ask you to do what you do just without paying adequate attention to your situation as human beings, as well as your situation as soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. So I try to keep that in mind.”