Wednesday, July 30, 2014         

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Defense secretary to attend U.S. PACOM change of command

By William Cole


Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will attend the U.S. Pacific Command change of leadership Friday at Camp Smith.

Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III will take the reins of the oldest and largest combatant command in the U.S. military from Adm. Robert Willard, who is retiring after nearly 39 years of active service.

The change of command will be held at 10 a.m.

Dempsey, the 18th chairman of the Joint Chiefs, serves as the principal military adviser to the president and is the nation's highest-ranking military officer.

Dempsey is expected to hold a "town hall" meeting with troops on Wednesday, while Panetta plans to visit the USS Arizona Memorial to lay a wreath in honor of the fallen and re-enlist four service members prior to speaking at Friday's change of command.

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