Commander touts US strength during 3rd Marine Division handover
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The outgoing commander of the nation’s only forward-deployed Marine division had a message for America’s adversaries during a change-of-command ceremony Friday on Okinawa: “Take caution.”
Maj. Gen. Richard Simcock II, who passed 3rd Marine Division leadership to Maj. Gen. Craig Timberlake under overcast skies on the Camp Courtney parade grounds, said the division’s quality gives him confidence in America and the U.S. military’s future, despite the growing militaries of potential adversaries within the region.
“I do not believe that our power is on the downhill slide,” Simcock, who’s heading to Marine Forces North, told Stars and Stripes on Thursday. “I do not believe that the best days of the United States are behind us. I speak so confidently about that because of the 10,000 young men and women that I’ve commanded for the last year and a half. That’s what makes me optimistic.”
Simcock spent his time in command working on improving amphibious operations with the Navy, fostering regional partnerships, introducing new combat systems and increasing material and supply readiness.
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