Speed Reads

what's in a name

The U.S. Pacific Command has a new name

On Wednesday, the U.S. Pacific Command, which is responsible for all U.S. military activity in the Pacific region, got a new name: the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

Why the change? Pentagon officials said it's in honor of the deepening relationship between the United States and India. "Relationships with our Pacific and Indian Ocean allies and partners have proven critical to maintaining regional stability," Defense Secretary James Mattis said. "In recognition of the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific oceans, today we rename the U.S. Pacific Command to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command."

There are about 375,000 civilian and military personnel assigned to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. The U.S. is India's No. 2 weapons supplier, Reuters reports, and in 2016, the countries agreed to use each other's land and air and naval bases for repair and resupply. Experts say the new name is basically a symbolic gesture, but Admiral Philip Davidson, the incoming head of the command, said last month he believes "India and the relationship with the United States is the potentially most historic opportunity we have in the 21st century and I intend to pursue that quite rigorously."