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Admiral Paparo and Admiral Aquilino at the INDOPACOM change of command. General C.Q. Brown, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin observe in the background. May 3rd, 2024.

Last Friday in Pearl Harbor with the USS Missouri and the USS Arizona in the background Secretary of Defense Loyd Austin and the Chairman of the JCS General CQ Brown presided over the change of the United States largest and most powerful Combatant Command in the World. – The Indo pacific command –  

The previous Commander Admiral “Lung” Aquilino under orders changed over his command to Admiral “Pappy” Paparo. Admiral Aquilino retires as the GOAT with over 40 years of service to our country and as one of the best warfighter leader the nation has had in recent times.  

“Last week, I said my goodbyes to the Sub-unified Component Commanders, to the component commanders, to my subordinate commanders, to my staff, and to my personal staff. I’m not going to do that here today, but I will highlight a couple of themes of what I told them. Number one, that they’re the best of the best. In the most crucial theater against the most challenging threat. They understand the theater, they understand the people, they understand the cultures, and they are the right people at the right time. Pappy, they will serve you well. I ask them to think, act, and operate differently in the most dangerous time that I’ve seen in 40 years of doing this business. And they have delivered the integrated deterrence that the secretary has tasked us, and they have exceeded every expectation.   

You heard some of this before. They have advanced the theater posture. They’ve strengthened allies in partnerships. They’ve integrated all domain ops into a coherent campaign plan that proved to any adversary, that the United States is not the force to take on. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. And I leave behind the most integrated lethal joint force on this planet, and they are ready.”  

  • Admiral John C. Aquilino, Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, INDOPACOM Change of Command, May 3rd 2024  

“Our world faces a complex problem set in the troubling actions of the people’s Republic of China and its rapid buildup of forces. We must be ready to answer The PRC’s increasingly intrusive and expansionist claims in the Indo-Pacific region. Some call it the gray zone. My friend, General Brawner from the Republic of the Philippines, has a phrase called ICAD and he has renamed Gray Zone, which sounds otherwise benign and dull, into ICAD, which is Illegal, Coercive, Aggressive, and Deceptive. This demonstrates the wisdom of our allies and partners. Russia, North Korea and violent extremist organizations also threaten peace, stability, and order. We will work in concert with allies and partners and our joint teammates to preserve the free and open Indo-Pacific, itself a phrase coined by the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.   

We will safeguard the international order characterized by transparency, cooperation, fair competition, and the rule of law. We’ll bring all to bear in all domains, harnessing and integrating capabilities, supporting partnerships to maintain peace and security while safeguarding sovereign rights. Finally, we’ll strive for the peaceful resolution of any crisis or conflict, but make no mistake, as Lung said, we will be ready to fight any adversary that threatens the peace, security, stability, and well-being of the nation and of our allies and partners. The team is uniquely ready to shape the current strategic environment to our nation and our allies and partners advantage and we must act now with a sense of urgency we set out on this path with the effort to regain the advantage under Admiral Davidson. We built on that progress together in which we seized the initiative under Lung Aquilino, and now onward to prevail. May God bless America and let’s get to work. My thanks.”  

  • Admiral Samuel Paparo, Incoming Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, INDOPACOM Change of Command, May 3rd 2024  

We were honored to be there for this historic event at this moment of increased winning  momentum in warfighter leadership for the INDO PACFIC Command  and the future of the world.  

Click here to read the DoD press release about the event

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