Locklear Confirmed To Lead US Pacific Command

Published February 18, 2012 5:00AM (EST)

HONOLULU (AP) — Navy Adm. Samuel Locklear will be the U.S. military's next leader in the Asia-Pacific region.

U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Bill Clinton said Friday the U.S. Senate had confirmed Locklear's nomination to head the command, which has its headquarters near Honolulu.

In confirmation hearings earlier this month, Locklear said he wants improved military ties with China but noted that China must be committed to open exchanges.

He told the Senate Armed Services Committee that China's military buildup is a source of strategic uncertainty. He described the current military relationship as "cooperative but competitive."

Locklear currently is chief of U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa, and commander of Allied Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy. He commanded U.S. and NATO-led operations in Libya that eventually toppled Moammar Gadhafi.

By Salon Staff

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