HONOLULU – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has met with troops at Hickam Field in Hawaii.
It's the first stop on Hagel's first visit to Asia as defense chief. The weeklong trip will take him to Singapore and then to Brussels.
Hagel plans to deliver a speech to a national security conference in Singapore, bringing allies up to date about the Pentagon's heightened focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
Former defense chief Leon Panetta spoke to the conference last year, describing plans to assign 60 percent of the Navy's fleet to the Pacific even as he acknowledged ongoing budget problems.
It's now up to Hagel to reaffirm that commitment, even as the U.S. budget crisis continues.
Hagel told troops they will all have to do more with less.