Admiral Timothy Keating Takes Over U.S. Pacific Command

CAMP SMITH (KHNL) - With considerable instability in the region, the U.S. Pacific Command has a new leader at the helm.

The official party arrives including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace.

Jim Nabors sings the national anthem And Danny Kalekini with the State of Hawaii song.

Admiral Timothy Keating takes command from Lieutenant General Daniel Leaf .

His area of responsibility includes the world's six largest armed forces including China, North Korea and Russia

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates remarks, "The scope of relationships and challenges encompassed in this area of responsibility are key to the security and continued welfare of the United States."

Admiral Keating understands the war on terror. He was at the Pentagon September 11th. Secretary Gates mentions, "Some of those who died that morning worked for him."

Admiral Keating says he'll meet the challenges of providing U.S. security in the region, "We are very interested in what our State Department partners are achieving in North Korea and we are cautiously optimistic that the way ahead is hopeful with peace on the peninsula."

When asked about Defense Department officials at the ceremony Keating explains, "It's a high honor to have the Secretary and the Chairman here not for the Keatings but for the command. It reinforces the importance of the Pacific Command "

This is Admiral Keating's second assignment in Hawaii.