Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Pacific commander
heads to Asia talks

Adm. William Fallon, who took over as head of the U.S. Pacific Command in February, will travel to Singapore this week to attend his first Asia Security Conference.

A total of 18 ministerial officials from South Korea, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timore-Leste, United Kingdom and the United States will attend the meetings, known as Shangri-La, scheduled to begin tomorrow.

The security talks are expected to cover several topics, including the war on terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the roles of China and India.

Yesterday the Navy launched two weeks of anti-terrorism exercises with Singapore, with more than 1,500 U.S. and Singapore service members, aircraft, a submarine and 12 ships. The two-week Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, or CARAT, is being held in the South China Sea.

The Pearl Harbor-based guided missile destroyer Paul Hamilton is expected to simulate a chemical gas attack during the exercise.

On Saturday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is scheduled to address a meeting of defense ministers and military chiefs.

Fallon, a Vietnam War-era combat pilot, will be honored June 14 by the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council. The welcome dinner will be held at the Hawaiian Village Hotel. Fallon is expected to speak on military issues in Hawaii and security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

The cost is $60. Reservations and details are available by calling Japan-America Society of Hawaii at 524-4450.

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