The Army’s senior general in the Pacific projects a few years of stability in the region before cuts to the military’s ground forces could reshape installations from Washington to South Korea.
"How we have forces based in the Pacific we see remaining about the same for the next several years," Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the commander of U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter, said Tuesday, according to a report in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Brooks said the Army’s strength in the Pacific is at 106,000 active-duty soldiers, an increase from 90,000 in recent years. About 34,000 of them are stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Brooks was speaking at a news conference for the Association of the United States Army's LANPAC land forces forum at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.
His office in Hawaii supports the Pentagon’s Navy-led Pacific Command. He is the region’s senior ground forces commander.
One of his chief subordinates is Joint Base Lewis-McChord senior Army officer Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza. As I Corps commander, Lanza oversees soldiers based at Lewis-McChord and in the 25th Infantry Division in Alaska and Hawaii.
The Pentagon plans to shrink the number of active-duty soldiers from today’s roughly 520,000 to a force of about 440,000 to 450,000 over the next several years.
Soldiers at Lewis-McChord are preparing for a number of Pacific exercises over the spring and summer in Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Japan.