On Monday, June 13, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro spoke to the Fellows attending Comprehensive Security Cooperation Course 22-2 at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies.

For Del Toro, the chance to engage with the diversity of international Fellows provided an invaluable opportunity to listen as the Fellows conveyed the pressing issues facing their respective countries.

The Honorable Carlos Del Toro Secretary of the Navy

Said Del Toro, “it is so important to put ourselves in their shoes to better understand the challenges they face so that we can understand how to get to a better place.”

In his remarks to the 82 Fellows from over 20 locations around the world, he emphasized his chief interest in strengthening security connections between nations and multinational organizations like ASEAN.

“Respecting cooperation at every level has never been more important than today,” said Del Toro. “And that is why this Center, this course, and most importantly, this distinguished class has never been more important. We need your best ideas and your most pointed concerns so that we can work together to confront the many challenges of the global security environment.”

Prior to speaking with the Fellows, he participated in a round-table discussion that included faculty members who are subject matter experts on Oceania. He also met with the Center’s active duty and former Navy service members. Petty Officer Second Class Daja White called the opportunity to meet the Secretary of the Navy an “honor and a privilege.”

Del Toro’s traveling party included Navy Capt. Kristopher Robinson, International Affairs Officer, who from 2016 to 2018, served at DKI APCSS as Operations Officer in the College of Security of Studies. Prior to the visit, Robinson conveyed to Del Toro the importance of a visit to DKI APCSS.

“The impact [of the Center] to me personally and professionally I can’t quantify,” said Robinson.  “I use it every single day. The education, the relationships, and the skills I developed here. I couldn’t get anywhere else.”

Del Toro’s visit to Honolulu comes at the start of his second trip to the Indo-Pacific region as Secretary of the Navy. He will travel through Oceania making stops in Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand to meet with officials and speak with citizens regarding the ongoing climate crisis.

For Robinson, the Secretary of the Navy’s first stop at DKI APCSS plays a critical role in making their trip successful.

Said Robinson, “Hearing from the Fellows and hearing from the faculty make [Del Toro] better prepared for his engagements with leaders in the Indo-Pacific for tomorrow and the years to come.”

Del Toro is the first Secretary of the Navy to visit DKI APCSS. He was sworn in as the 78th Secretary of the Navy on August 9, 2021. As Secretary, he is responsible for over 900,000 Sailors, Marines, reservists, and civilian personnel and an annual budget exceeding $210 Billion. His priorities include securing the training and equipment successful naval operations demand and addressing the most pressing challenges confronting the US Navy and Marine Corps – China’s naval ambitions, climate instability, COVID’s ongoing impact, and strengthening a naval culture of inclusiveness and respect.

Related:  SecNav's remarks to the CSC 22-2 Fellows - https://www.navy.mil/Press-Office/Speeches/display-speeches/Article/3062627/secnav-delivers-remarks-at-daniel-inouye-asia-pacific-center-for-security-studi/ 

Active duty and retired Navy staff of DKI APCSS pose with the Secretary of the United States Navy, The Honorable Carlos Del Toro.