Carter: Large Investment Next Phase of Pacific Pivot

Aboard the USS Carl Vinson, Coronado, Calif. The US is building up its military presence in the Pacific as part of its ongoing pivot, putting its most advanced aircraft in the area and making its sea presence more lethal, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday. Speaking aboard a Naval carrier in San Diego, Carter said the US will “continue to sharpen our military edge so we remain the most powerful military in the region and the security partner of choice,” he said. Highlights of this push include the $12 billion investment in the next five years for the Air Force’s new B-21 Raider bomber and $56 billion for 400 more F-35s over the next five years. The Navy is tripling its Tomahawk cruise missile strike capacity on Virginia-class submarines and investing $40 billion over the next five years for its undersea and submarine force. The Defense Department’s most advanced aircraft, including F-22s, F-35s, and P-8s will all have regular Pacific deployments to maintain the US presence.