Mixon will lead U.S. Army Pacific
Brig. Gen. Benjamin Mixon has been chosen to lead an Army force that during the past three years has grown to be more mobile, modular and lethal.
President Bush nominated Mixon, current commander of the Schofield Barracks-based 25th Infantry Division, to lead U.S. Army Pacific, which includes soldiers in Hawaii, Alaska, the Pacific islands, Japan and Okinawa, the Pentagon announced yesterday.
Mixon has been in Iraq for 14 months where he has also been in charge of the of Multi-National Division-North.
If confirmed by the Senate, he will replace U.S. Army Pacific commander Lt. Gen. John Brown.
Brown said the Army will have grown from a force of 34,000 to about 55,000 in 2010. By then, Mixon would command all the soldiers in Asia, except for the 3,000 in South Korea who fall under 8th Army.
Brown assumed command in 2004. He told the Star-Bulletin in July that since then the Army, especially in the Pacific, has been changed to become a "modular, expeditionary Army that could move more rapidly to where it was needed around the world, with more of it stationed in the continental United States and a smaller percentage stationed outside the United States." Key to that change was the Army's latest combat vehicle: the 18-ton, eight-wheeled Stryker, conceived by former Army Chief of Staff and Kauai native Gen. Eric "Ric" Shinseki.
Brown said the change means that the Army will have a tactical war-fighting headquarters that can deploy anywhere in the Pacific to direct a ground war for Adm. Timothy Keating, U.S. Pacific Command leader.
The new Pacific Army command structure -- which Mixon will inherit -- will extend from the West Coast to Japan and fall under what is now called the Theater Army Headquarters.
Mixon's new appointment also means promotion for a third star as lieutenant general. The Pentagon did not announce Mixon's successor nor a future assignment for Brown yesterday.