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United States Pacific Command
United States Pacific Command.png
Emblem of the United States Pacific Command.
Active 1947–present
Country United States
Type Unified Combatant Command
Headquarters Camp H. M. Smith, in Halawa Heights, Hawaii
Nickname(s) USPACOM
Engagements Korean War, Vietnam War
Combatant Commander Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, USN
Ceremonial chief Lieutenant General Thomas L. Conant, USMC

The United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) is a Unified Combatant Command of the United States armed forces responsible for the Pacific Ocean area. It is led by the Commander, Pacific Command (CDRUSPACOM), who is the supreme military authority for the various branches of the Armed Forces of the United States serving within its area of responsibility (AOR). The chain of command runs from the President of the United States, through the Secretary of Defense, to the Commander, Pacific Command.[1] It is the oldest and largest of the Unified Combatant Commands. It is based in Honolulu, Hawai'i on the island of O'ahu.

The main combat power of USPACOM is formed by U.S. Army Pacific, Marine Forces Pacific, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and Pacific Air Forces, all headquartered in Honolulu with component forces stationed throughout the region.

Mission statement

U.S. Pacific Command, in concert with other US government agencies and regional military partners, promotes security and peaceful development in the Asia-Pacific region by deterring aggression, advancing regional security cooperation, responding to crises, and fighting to win.

Area of responsibility

PACOM Area Of Responsibility

The United States Pacific Command's area of jurisdiction covers over fifty percent of the world's surface area – approximately 105 million square miles (nearly 272 million square kilometers) – nearly sixty percent of the world's population, thirty-six countries, twenty territories, and ten territories and possessions of the United States.

Its AOR encompasses the Pacific Ocean from Antarctica at 092° W, north to 8° N, west to 112° W, northwest to 50° N/142° W, west to 170° E, north to 53° N, northeast to 65°30' N/169° W, north to 90° N, the Arctic Ocean west of 169° W and east of 100° E; the People's Republic of China, Mongolia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Japan; the countries of Southeast Asia and the southern Asian landmass to the western border of India; the Indian Ocean east and south of the line from the India/Pakistan coastal border west to 068° E, south to 5° S/068° E, west to 5° S/059° E, south to 8° S/059° E, southwest to 11° S/054° E, west to 11° S/042° E, and south along 042° E to Antarctica; Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii.

It is charged with fulfilling the following mutual defense treaties signed by the United States:

  • U.S./Republic of the Philippines (Mutual Defense Treaty, 1951)
  • U.S./Australia/New Zealand (ANZUS – U.S., 1952)
  • U.S./Republic of Korea (Mutual Defense Treaty, 1954)
  • U.S./Japan (Mutual Defense Treaty, 1960)

In addition, PACOM's area of responsibility covers Taiwan whose defense relationship with the United States is governed by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. Furthermore, while the SEATO organization was disestablished in the late 1970s, SEACDT, the Collective Defense Treaty, still formally binds the U.S., France, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Thirty-five percent of the total trade of the United States globally falls within the watch of the United States Pacific Command, amounting to more than $548 billion in 1998. Five of the world's largest militaries are monitored by the United States Pacific Command: People's Republic of China, India, Russia, North Korea and South Korea.


Offices for the United States Pacific Command are based at the Nimitz-MacArthur Pacific Command Center at Camp H. M. Smith near suburban Salt Lake and Moanalua. The staff comprises over 530 Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy officers and enlisted personnel with the support of an additional 110 civilian personnel.

The headquarters includes personnel, intelligence, operations, logistics, and signals/communications (J6) branches. The intelligence branch includes the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific, which serves as the co-ordinating intelligence arm of the command.

List of Combatant Commanders

The Combatant Commander of United States Pacific Command reports directly to the Secretary of Defense, normally through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[2]

Prior to 2002, the Combatant Commander had held the title of Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command (CINCPAC). On 24 October 2002, by order of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, the title was changed to Commander, U.S. Pacific Command (CDRUSPACOM). Note: CINCPAC is not to be confused with CINCPACFLT, the former name of the subordinate navy component commander (COMPACFLT) of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.[3]

Commander-in-Chief U.S. Pacific Command and Commander-in-Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet

No. Image Name Start of Term End of Term
1. John H. Towers.jpg Adm. John H. Towers, USN 1 January 1947 28 February 1947)
2. Louis E. Denfeld - Project Gutenberg etext 20587.jpg Adm. Louis E. Denfeld, USN 28 February 1947 3 December 1947
3. File:DeWittClintonRamsey.jpg Adm. DeWitt C. Ramsey, USN 12 January 1948 30 April 1949
4. ADM Arthur Radford.JPG Adm. Arthur W. Radford, USN 30 April 1949 10 July 1953
5. File:Felix Stump 2.jpg Adm. Felix Stump, USN 10 July 1953 14 January 1958

Commanders, U.S. Pacific Command

No. Image Name Start of Term End of Term
5. File:Felix Stump 2.jpg Adm. Felix Stump, USN 14 January 1958 31 July 1958
6. Harry Donald Felt.jpg Adm. Harry D. Felt, USN 31 July 1958 30 June 1964
7. Ulysses S Grant Sharp.jpg Adm. Ulysses S. Grant Sharp, USN 30 June 1964 31 July 1968
8. John S McCain Jr.jpg Adm. John S. McCain, Jr., USN 31 July 1968 1 September 1972
9. Noel Gayler.jpg Adm. Noel Gayler, USN 1 September 1972 30 August 1976
10. Maurice F Weisner.jpg Adm. Maurice F. Weisner, USN 30 August 1976 31 October 1979
11. Robert LJ Long.jpg Adm. Robert L. J. Long, USN 31 October 1979 1 July 1983
12. Adm William Crowe Jr.JPG Adm. William J. Crowe, Jr., USN 1 July 1983 18 September 1985
13. Ronald J Hays.jpg Adm. Ronald J. Hays, USN 18 September 1985 30 September 1988
14. Huntington Hardisty.jpg Adm. Huntington Hardisty, USN 30 September 1988 1 March 1991
15. Adm Charles R Larson - official portrait, Superintendent of US Naval Academy.jpg Adm. Charles R. Larson, USN 1 March 1991 11 July 1994
Acting LTG Harold T. Fields, USA 11 July 1994 19 July 1994
16. Richard C. Macke, VADM, USN, 1991.jpg Adm. Richard C. Macke, USN 19 July 1994 31 January 1996
17. Joseph W. Prueher, ADM USN, 1996.jpg Adm. Joseph W. Prueher, USN 31 January 1996 20 February 1999
18. Dennis Blair.jpg Adm. Dennis C. Blair, USN 20 February 1999 2 May 2002
19. Thomas fargo.jpg Adm. Thomas B. Fargo, USN 2 May 2002 26 February 2005
20. ADM Fallon Portrait.jpg Adm. William J. Fallon, USN 26 February 2005 3 March 2007
Acting Daniel P. Leaf.jpg Lt Gen Daniel P. Leaf, USAF 3 March 2007 23 March 2007
21. Timothy J. Keating 2007 2.jpg Adm. Timothy J. Keating, USN 23 March 2007 19 October 2009
22. Willard 2010.jpg Adm. Robert F. Willard, USN 19 October 2009 9 March 2012
23. Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III 2012.jpg Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, USN 9 March 2012 Incumbent


The United States Pacific Command was established on 1 January 1947 by President Harry Truman and was originally headquartered in the Salt Lake subdivision of Honolulu. It took control over all Armed Forces of the United States in what was once called the Pacific Theater during World War II. In 1972, the United States Pacific Command's responsibilities were greatly expanded to include the Indian Ocean, Southern Asia, and the Arctic. In 1976, it was again expanded to include parts of Africa. President Ronald Reagan expanded it again with the inclusion of the People's Republic of China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Mongolia and Madagascar. In 1989, actions were taken to clarify the extent of authority given to the Commander, Pacific Command.

Force structure

USPACOM is a unified command which includes about 300,000 military personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps (about 20 percent of all active duty U.S. military forces). These forces are in three categories: Forward-Deployed (about 100,000), Forward-Based, and Continental U.S. (CONUS)-Based which comprise the remainder.[2]

Service components

Note: I Corps mission focus is towards the Pacific rim and commands 3 out of 4 BCTs of the 2nd Infantry Division.

Subordinate unified commands

Standing joint task forces

Additional supporting units

Humanitarian missions

  • Operation Tomodachi in Japan after 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami[6]
  • Operation in Southeast Asia after 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami

In Asia, one of the most effective and impressive ad hoc multilateral efforts took place in the wake of the horrific December 2004 earthquake and tsunami that left some three hundred thousand people dead or missing, with upwards of a million more displaced in eleven South Asian and Southeast Asian nations. As devastating as the damage was, it could have been much worse if it had not been for the rapid response by the international community. At the height of the relief effort, some sixteen thousand U.S. military personnel were deployed throughout the areas most affected by tragedy; more than two dozen U.S. ships (including a the aircraft Carrier Strike Group Nine, a Marine amphibious group, and a hospital ship) and more than one hundred aircraft were dedicated to the disaster-relief effort, along with forces from Australia, Canada, Japan, India, and the affected countries.[7]

US Air Force personnel deliver relief supplies to Burma

In May 2008, Commander, Marine Corps Forces Pacific was designated as Commander, Joint Task Force Caring Response, a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief effort for Burma, devastated by Cyclone Nargis. During a delivery by the 36th Airlift Squadron on 19 May 2008 to Yangon International Airport in Burma approximately 15,000 pounds of water, water containers, rations, and mosquito netting were unloaded from the a C-130 Hercules aircraft.[8] Expeditionary Strike Group 7/TF 76/31st Marine Expeditionary Unit also stood by off the Myanmar coast for some time. However it was not allowed to deliver further aid.


  1. Goldwater-Nicholls DOD Reorganization Act, 10 USC 162, Combatant Commands; Assigned Forces; Chain of Command, Section (b), Chain of Command.
  2. 2.0 2.1 U.S. Pacific Command: About[dead link]
  3. U.S. Pacific Command: History[dead link]
  4. "About MarForPac". Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  5. Cole, R.H., W.S. Poople, J.F. Schnabel, R.J. Watson and W.J. Webb. 1995. The History of the Unified Command Plan 1946-1993 (page 42) on Google books. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  6. United States Pacific Command (USPACOM), PACOM Supporting Japan in Time of Crisis
  7. Michael J. Green and Bates Gill, Editors (2009), Asia's New Multilateralism, Columbia University Press
  8. JTF Caring Response News Story

External links

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