US nominates Navy admiral to head Pacific Command

Locklear would succeed Adm. Robert Willard, who has been commander of U.S. Pacific Command since 2009.

The Obama administration has signaled a shift of strategy to the Pacific as it winds down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last month the president announced that 2,500 Marines would be stationed in Australia, in a move that was viewed as showing China that the United States would remain active in the Pacific.

U.S. Pacific Command is one of six regions into which the U.S. military splits the globe.