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Peace, prosperity not guaranteed in Indo-Asia-Pacific region

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Army’s top Pacific commander said “peace and prosperity have not always been guaranteed” in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Theater, with a growing need to strengthen military relationships. 

He also praised the outgoing president of the Association of the U.S. Army during a keynote speech at AUSA’s LANPAC Symposium and Exposition in Honolulu on May 24.

Gen. Robert B. Brown, who became U.S. Army Pacific Command commanding general on April 30, said the AUSA three-day event is “especially relevant and timely” because of threats and challenges requiring a collaborative solution from land forces.

“We live in a complex world, growing more complex every day,” Brown said of the need for innovative leaders and stronger partners in the military, industry and government.

“This is a great American,” Brown said, pointing to retired Army Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, AUSA’s president and CEO. 

Sullivan, the 32nd Army chief of staff before retiring in 1995 after 36 years of service, has headed the educational nonprofit association since 1998. 

He is stepping down on June 30.

“We are talking about service of 56 years,” Brown said. 

Adding, “Thanks so much for your years of service and your dedication to our soldiers, their families, and our nation’s defense.”

“I would do it all again,” Sullivan said, as he received a standing ovation. 

“I am enormously proud to say I am an American soldier. I don’t care who knows,” he added.

Retired Army Gen. Carter Ham will succeed Sullivan as AUSA’s top executive.

Sullivan said the U.S. Army has been in the Pacific for more than 100 years, in peace and war.

“Challenges continue to abound in the Pacific,” he said, noting President Barack Obama was making an Asia visit at the same time as the conference.

At LANPAC, three days of discussions with representatives of more than 20 nations are focusing on stability and security issues, and ways to strengthen land forces, Sullivan said. 

“There is no other forum like it in this region or in the world,” he said.

“AUSA is trying its best to get you what you need, to do what you need to do,” Sullivan said to the standing-room-only conference.