General dubs Pōhakuloa Training Area ‘center of gravity’ for military in Pacific

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The Hawai’i Island Chamber of Commerce hosted Maj. Gen. Joe Ryan earlier this week. Photo Courtesy: Pōhakuloa Training Area

U.S. Army Garrison Pōhakuloa Training Area on the Big Island plays a critical role to building readiness for troops in Hawai’i, said the Commander of the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawai‘i in an update to members of the Hawai’i Island Chamber of Commerce on April 3.

In his remarks, Maj. Gen. Joe Ryan covered three topics: China, the Army in the Pacific and how the public can help the Army.

“There’s a lot of talk about China in the news…especially in this region of the world,” said Ryan. “We don’t want to start a conflict or a war with China because that’s something that nobody wants.”

“We also don’t want to contain China,” said Ryan. “China is an independent sovereign nation and they have as much right to operate in this world as any other sovereign nation does. But what we ask China to do, and what we ask all nations in the world to do, is to operate in a rules-based order.”


He explained the Department of Defense has developed an Integrated Deterrence strategy to address this issue. The military concept of deterrence includes capability, posture, signaling, and will.

Maj. Gen. Joe Ryan discussed China, the Army in the Pacific, and recruitment. Photo Courtesy: Pōhakuloa Training Area

“It is a fine line between being a capable deterrent and being provocative towards war with an increasingly aggressive and unpredictable China in this region of the world,” said Ryan.

Ryan claimed Pōhakuloa Training Area plays a key role in the capability component of integrated deterrence. He cited the Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth’s statement that Pōhakuloa Training Area is “the Center of Gravity for the Army in the Pacific” after her January visit to the installation.

“But PTA is not just the center of gravity for the Army, it’s the center of gravity for the joint force,” said Ryan.


This includes all branches of the U.S. military, and allies and partners in the region.

“It is very important that we are open, transparent and communicative to the people of Hawai’i about the mission and activities at Pōhakuloa Training Area.”

He mentioned PTA’s April 20 open house will be is a perfect opportunity to see first-hand and learn about these activities.

“We [the Army] are always available to speak…outreach for us is really important,” said Ryan.


He wrapped up his speech by asking the audience for their help. “We need you inspire young men and women to serve in the military because none of what I’ve talked about today is possible without good people,” Ryan stated.

Ryan reported that retention is very high.

“General McConville, our Chief of Staff of the Army, says it this way – We recruit soldiers, we retain families,” said Ryan. “Because when we bring people into the service, they realize the goodness that service has connected to it, they decide to stay.”

For more information on the DoD Integrated Deterrence strategy, read this article:

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