News: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel thanks bilateral forces for their service
Story by 2nd Lt. Ashley Wright
TOYKO, Japan - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel addressed 200 service members at a troop call here Saturday at 1 p.m. to thank joint and bilateral forces for their service and emphasize the growing importance of the Asia-Pacific region.
Secretary Hagel discussed the on-going efforts to continue to support bilateral military relationships.
"I want to reassure our allies, our partners here in this part of the world, of our commitment...to our partnership, our friendships and our treaty obligations," Hagel said.
Looking to the future, Hagel has high hopes for the Pacific region.
"We think that the force posture we have, our defense structure and our capabilities and our readiness and our capacity still is more than sufficient to fulfill the missions and the objectives that we have to protect the United States, stay committed to our allies around the world and protect America's interests around the world," Hagel said.
Following his remarks, Hagel presented 200 coins to service members and Japanese Air Self Defense Force members in recognition for their service.
"It takes steady, wise, firm leadership and commitment, as you all are demonstrating by your service here, and our long partnership and friendship with Japan and the Japanese people," Hagel said.
Hagel plans to speak with Prime Minister Abe and other Japanese Defense officials before he leaves to make his first visit as defense secretary to China.