Top admiral touts US partnerships in Asia-Pacific region

Those nations and Washington are committed, he said, to investing as needed in combat platforms needed to ensure they can maneuver freely in that region.

Greenert announced that Singapore has offered to host the U.S. Navy’s shore-hugging littoral combat ships. Singapore also has erected a facility that will allow an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to dock there, the chief of naval operations said.

Most of the deployed American naval ships are operating in the Asia-Pacific, and that will continue going forward, Greenert said.

The Obama administration last week unveiled a new defense strategy that codifies a shift of Washington’s national and foreign policies from the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific region.

When asked by an attendee whether that shift will cause the U.S. Navy to turn a blind eye toward the Middle East, Greenert said no.

“There won't be a taking an eye off the ball in the Middle East,” he said.

To that end, Greenert said the one issue that “keeps me up at night” is Iran’s threat to close the Straight of Hormuz, a key transit point for oil out of the Middle East.

“We have been there, and we will continue to be there,” Greenert said of both the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.