Congressman Faleomavaega announced that he met this week with Lieutenant General Vincent K. Brooks, incoming commander at Fort Shafter in Oahu, Hawai‘i, headquarters of U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC), the army component unit of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) with jurisdiction over Hawai‘i, Alaska, the Pacific Ocean, South Korea and Japan. LTG Brooks will assume command on July 2nd, 2013.
President Barack Obama nominated Brooks on February 11, 2013 to succeed Lieutenant General Francis Wiercinski upon his retirement, and for promotion to four-star general. On March 5, 2013, the U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination, making Brooks the first ever four-star general over USARPAC. General Brooks will be leaving his current command of the renowned Third Army (ARCENT), which includes oversight of all soldiers in the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility, and conducts ground sustainment operations in Afghanistan.
“As Ranking Member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, it was a great honor for me to meet with Lieutenant General Vincent Brooks this week in my Washington, D.C. office. I was thankful for the opportunity to congratulate him on his new appointment and promotion to four-star general, while also discussing important issues in the region,” Congressman Faleomavaega stated.
“General Brooks’ appointment and promotion are very significant and historic as they further signify the military’s ‘rebalance’ of forces toward the Asia-Pacific region. His promotion brings USARPAC on par with the United States Pacific Fleet and the Pacific Air Forces, both of which are led by four-star commanders.”
“I am thankful for the wealth of experience, knowledge and leadership ability that General Brooks will bring to USARPAC. During his 33 years as a commissioned officer, he served in command and staff positions throughout the U.S. and the world, including Germany, Korea, Kosovo, and the Middle East. General Brooks also served at the national-level in the Pentagon. Within Headquarters, Department of the Army, he served as aide-de-camp to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, and later as the Army's Chief of Public Affairs. Within The Joint Staff, he fulfilled duties as Deputy Director (J5) for Political-Military Affairs for the Western Hemisphere, and later as the Deputy Director (J5) for the War on Terrorism.”
A 1980 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Brooks became the first African-American cadet in the academy’s history to be named cadet brigade commander (the top-ranking cadet). He led more than 4,000 cadets during his senior year and graduated first of his class. He also holds a Master of Military Art and Science from the School of Advanced Military Studies at the United States Army Command and General Staff College, an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the New England School of Law in Boston, and has served as a National Security Fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.
“General Brooks also comes from a family dedicated to service. Both General Brooks and his wife are from career military families. His father, Leo Brooks, Sr. is a retired Major General of the United States Army and his brother, Leo Brooks, Jr., is a retired Brigadier General.”
“It was a pleasure for me to congratulate General Brooks as he assumes his new command at USARPAC in Fort Shafter, Honolulu. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss with him the U.S. pivot towards the Asia-Pacific region as well as our policies towards our Pacific Island neighbors. In my capacity as Ranking Member, I look forward to working closely with General Brooks on important issues facing our armed forces in the region. I pray for his successful transition and wish him all the best in his new command,” Congressman Faleomavaega concluded.