NEWS | July 19, 2021

USSTRATCOM commander travels to INDOPACOM, reaffirms commitment to extended deterrence, regional security

By Rachel Kibbe Williams USSTRATCOM

Adm. Charles Richard, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) commander, toured the Indo-Pacific region and met senior government and military representatives from Japan and Republic of Korea, and visited U.S. service members in Hawaii and Guam, July 8 – 18, to discuss topics related to allies and partners and regional security.

The trip provided opportunities for increased bilateral cooperation and collaboration in the Indo-Pacific and reaffirm America’s commitment to our allies.

“It’s important that I got out to the Indo-Pacific region to visit Adm. Aquilino, have robust conversations with our allies and partners, and address mutual security concerns,” Adm. Richard said.

Richard first stopped in Hawaii where he participated in Warfighter Talks with Adm. John Aquilino, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command commander. The leaders discussed key security issues and areas of integration required to address cross-domain regional challenges and global threats.  

“Adm. Richard’s visit highlights the strong relationships we have across the Joint Force. Together with other warfighters like USSTRATCOM, USINDOPACOM is increasing interoperability and lethality in the Pacific while defending our nation through integrated deterrence,” said Aquilino.

While in Japan, Richard met with the Japanese Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Japanese Joint Staff, Defense Minister, Foreign Minister and Secretary General. During these visits, he discussed with Japanese senior leaders regional situational awareness of threats and areas where the two nations can strengthen strategic deterrence.

He continued his trip to the Republic of Korea, and met with the U.S. Forces Korea Commander, ROK Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Minister of Defense, and other ROK Commanders. Through the ironclad alliance with the ROK, the parties discussed ways to enhance the already strong deterrence posture and support ROK allies on the Korean Peninsula.

 “The strategic environment is rapidly changing. Deterrence in the 21st century has to involve our allies and partners. It requires close cooperation, integration and an understanding of the different thoughts and differing perspectives on certain issues.” Richard said.

On the final leg of his trip in Guam, Richard met with B-52 crew members deployed at Andersen AFB, received a tour of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, and met sailors aboard the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Illinois (SSN-786) at Naval Base Guam.

This was Richard’s first visit to the region since becoming the USSTRATCOM commander. While the trip was originally scheduled for 2020, it had been postponed due to COVID restrictions. As USSTRATCOM continues to maintain the readiness and capabilities of the nuclear umbrella that provides extended deterrence, trips like this reaffirm America’s commitment to protect allies and uphold regional security.