By AUDREY McAVOY
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii (AP) - A four-star general is leading the Army in the Asia and Pacific region for the first time in nearly four decades.
Gen. Vincent Brooks took command of U.S. Army Pacific during a ceremony before several hundred people at Fort Shafter just outside Honolulu on Tuesday.
A four-star general commanded last U.S. Army Pacific in 1974.
The Obama administration elevated the command's status as it refocuses attention on the region.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told the crowd that U.S. national security and military strategy calls for rebalancing toward Asia and the Pacific. He says this recognizes how critical relationships and events in the region will help the nation grow economically and establish security.
Brooks leads more than 80,000 soldiers from Washington state to Alaska, Hawaii and Japan.