The younger brother of former national security advisor Michael Flynn has taken command of U.S. Army Pacific and vowed to meet the growing challenge posed by China.
General Charles Flynn assumed command of the 90,000-soldier force in a ceremony Friday at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, the Independent reported.
"Today, as China trends on an increasingly concerning path, presenting challenge to the free and open Pacific, the Army is charged to change once more," Gen. Flynn said during a livestreamed ceremony.
"If we operate, compete and fight domain-on-domain, we will cede advantages and put our future at risk. However, if we act, operate and fight as an integrated joint force — tightly linked to our allies and partners — there is no adversary on planet that can match this team."
Gen. Flynn replaced Gen. Paul LaCamera, who was confirmed by the Senate last month to be the next U.S. Forces Korea commanding general.
Since June 2019, Gen. Flynn had been serving in Washington, D.C., as deputy chief of staff for Army operations, plans, and training. The 57-year-old previously was stationed in Hawaii numerous times, most recently as deputy commanding general at U.S. Army Pacific.
"From the President and the Secretary of Defense to the combatant commands and the Chief, our nation’s defense leaders have directed that we must think, act, and operate differently," Flynn said according to Army’s website. "And in so doing — we will as history’s taught us time and again — more effectively compete, deter, and if necessary, win in the Indo-Pacific."
Adm. John Aquilino, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, welcomed back Flynn to Hawaii.
"I'm going to ask you to focus on seizing the initiative by thinking, acting and operating differently, to continue to execute the integrated deterrence needed to ensure the free and open Indo-Pacific," Aquilino said, according to Stars and Stripes.
"U.S. Army Pacific Command is a vital part of our approach to generate a lethal combined joint force distributed west of the international dateline that can be protected, sustained and capable of fully integrating with all of our allies and partners."
Flynn said he expected to build upon LaCamera's work in developing and testing the Army's first Multi-Domain Task Force, aimed at coordinating air, cyberspace, land, maritime, space, and the electromagnetic spectrum in a battle environment.
Earlier this year, Charles Flynn's role at the Pentagon during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol came under scrutiny. The Army initially denied he had been present at a meeting to discuss deploying the National Guard to the Capitol while the assault was unfolding.
General Flynn later told the Washington Post he had been on the call.
"[I] entered the room after the call began and departed prior to the call ending as I believed a decision was imminent," he told the Post.
Retired Gen. Michael Flynn served as former president Donald Trump's national security advisor. He pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with the former Russian Ambassador to the U.S., but was pardoned by Trump in November.
Despite Michael Flynn being a polarizing political figure, Gen. Charles Flynn, a 4-star general, had bipartisan support in Washington.
"General Flynn has served our country with great distinction for three-and-a-half decades," Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawaii, told the Honolulu Civil Beat in an email. "He has proven fully capable of separating duty and family."
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