Locklear Vows PACOM is Prepared

Adm. Samuel Locklear, US Pacific Command boss, told lawmakers on Tuesday that, in light of the missile threat from North Korea, he requested the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system to Guam to protect the US territory in the event of attack. “We are doing that to make sure we can adequately defend our territory,” he said during the Senate Armed Services Committee’s April 9 hearing. He noted that the missile that the North Koreans are prepping for launch on North Korea’s east coast did not have range to reach Hawaii. Locklear also made clear that the United States has “credible capability” to defend the US homeland and allies against a missile strike. In response to questions about hardening facilities on Guam to withstand attack, Locklear said PACOM is “acutely aware” of the issue and is working on a number of initiatives to improve base defense on the island. “There are those things that would allow you as quickly as possible to recover if attacked by anyone,” he said. Initiatives include hardening fuel heads on the island, improving runway recovery capabilities, and improved command and control of dispersed assets, he said. (Locklear’s written testimony) (See also Fortifying Guam’s Infrastructure.)