WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2016 — On Sept. 26, Defense Secretary Ash Carter will embark on domestic travel highlighting two areas of critical importance to the long term security of the United States -- the nation’s nuclear enterprise and the future of the Asia-Pacific region, according to a Defense Department news release.
The first leg of the trip begins with a visit to Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota -- home to the B-52H Stratofortress bombers of the 5th Bomb Wing and the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles of the 91st Missile Wing -- for a speech on the future of America’s nuclear capability, the release said.
On Sept. 27 and 28, Carter will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico to thank personnel at Kirtland Air Force Base for their work to ensure the readiness of the nuclear force. The base is home to critical operational, testing, storage and development units, the release said,
He will also tour the facilities at two Energy Department research labs -- Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratories -- to thank the scientists and engineers there for their ongoing work involving the development, assessment and security of the nuclear triad, the release said.
On Sept. 29, Carter will deliver a speech in San Diego on the future of the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region and ongoing security challenges in the region, the release said. Following this speech, the secretary will travel to Honolulu to host the U.S.-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Defense Informal.
The gathering will include defense ministers from ASEAN member states, and will follow up on the commitments and issues raised at the 2016 U.S.-ASEAN Summit in Laos earlier this month, the release said. The ministers will discuss common security concerns and opportunities for further cooperation to build and sustain a rules-based international order in the Asia-Pacific region, the release noted.
The defense secretary will host the ministers for demonstrations of U.S. military capabilities and a dinner aboard the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, and he will participate in a press conference at the conclusion of the gathering, the release said.