LISTEN LIVE

U.S. Central Command

In a largely symbolic move aimed at reflecting new national priorities, the Pentagon is changing the name of the Pacific Command to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

"Relationships with our Pacific and Indian Ocean allies and partners have proven critical to maintaining regional stability," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in prepared remarks delivered in Hawaii with the USS Arizona Memorial behind him.

"In recognition of the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, today we rename the US Pacific Command to US Indo-Pacific Command," he said.

President Barack Obama arrives in Tampa this afternoon to meet with the men and women who have been on the front-lines enforcing his policies in the fight against terrorism. And he plans to deliver his last major counter-terrorism speech.

U.S. Department of Defense - Defenseimagery.mil / U.S. Department of Defense

Retired U.S. Marine Gen. James Mattis, who was part of the military leadership based at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base, is being considered for a cabinet post in the new Trump Administration.

On March 22, 2013, Gen. Mattis handed over command of U.S. Central Command to Army Gen. Lloyd Austin III. In tribute to Mattis’ leadership, several high ranking officers including then-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, attended the ceremony at MacDill AFB.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The two main economic drivers in Florida are tourism and agriculture, but you can’t ignore the military. From military bases and defense contractors to 1.6 million veterans living in the state, the military contributes nearly 10 percent to the Florida economy.

That’s why protecting those military assets has become the mission of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation, business leaders and elected officials.

U.S. Department of Defense / Pentagon Channel

The U.S. Secretary of Defense joined other top military leaders in Tampa Wednesday to mark the change of leadership at two major, joint military commands at MacDill Air Force Base.

Army Gen. Raymond "Tony" Thomas III is the new leader at U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

Pentagon Channel

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter made a stop at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base Thursday to plot strategy in the fight against ISIL, also known as the Islamic State.

U.S. Central Command

The United States Central Command has released unclassified video of an air strike Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, on the Jeribe West Modular Refinery in Syria.

The Islamic State militants (ISIL) reportedly earn an estimated $2 million daily from several oil fields and refineries in the region.

The Associated Press reports:

Marine Sgt. Fredrick Coleman / CENTCOM

The pride of “wearing the uniform” was clear and present inside the MacDill Air Force Base sports center Wednesday where 1,200 service members from all branches crowded together to hear President Barack Obama.

Most were dressed in the everyday, camo uniform. They greeted the president with an enthusiasm that belied the rainy, gray skies outside.

President Obama talked directly to the men and women. He said he came to thank them for their sacrifice and for their commitment to the country.

CENTCOM / U.S. Department of Defense

President Barack Obama landed at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base shortly before 7  p.m. Tuesday, following a flight from Atlanta where he announced a major U.S. response to  the Ebola crisis in Africa.

The President was greeted by the Commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. Lloyd Austin, the newly installed Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command Gen. Joseph Votel, Commander of MacDill and the 6th Air Mobility Wing Col. Daniel Tulley, and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-D).

USMC

There are a lot of patriotic messages on July 4th. Here are some words of encouragement specifically for those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This comes from a portion of the talk delivered by Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos at the June 18, 2014, Change of Command at MARCENT – the Marine Command at U.S. Central Command based at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, FL.

Gen. James Amos:

U.S. Navy

The 2014 Military Appreciation Banquet tonight will honor the Tampa Bay community’s military personnel. Awards will be presented to Officers of the Year, both commissioned and non-commissioned, for each branch of service, to civilians as well as recognizing the ROTC Cadet of the Year for the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

It’s a delicate balance keeping troops supplied while downsizing in Afghanistan. Then, add the mandate to do it in the most economical and efficient way.

That’s why troops in Afghanistan, including the commander Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, are eating an MRE for one of their three daily meals. There are a lot of prepackaged Meals Ready to Eat stored in Afghanistan and they are not worth the cost to ship home.

Cpl. Timothy Lenzo / U.S. Marine Corps photo

Holidays are particularly tough for deployed military members thousands of miles away from family.

But the U.S. Central Command, based at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base, has made certain the troops in Afghanistan will have a special meal according to Scott Anderson, Deputy Director of Logistics and Engineering for CENTCOM.

Anderson is in charge on the civilian side of making sure troops are properly supplied.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The Canadian Armed Forces honored a retired U.S. Army master sergeant now living in Weeki Wachee for saving the life of a Canadian soldier July 31, 2010 in Afghanistan.

Surrounded by family, friends and some staff from James A. Haley VA Hospital who helped him recovery from a severe injury, Rick Cicero received the Canadian Commendation Medal for his bravery while serving as a military contractor and handler of bomb detection dogs with the Canadian Task Force.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The man who led the troops into Iraq and then oversaw their withdrawal in 2011 is the new commander at U.S. Central Command based at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base.

General Lloyd Austin, III, officially took control at CENTCOM Friday during a ceremony officiated by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

“With his calm demeanor, strategic vision, regional experience and knowledge, and proven judgment,” Hagel said, “I am confident General Austin is prepared to lead this command at a time of dramatic change, challenge, and turmoil in its area of responsibility.”

David Vergun

Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III will take over as the next leader of U.S. Central Command based at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base.

CENTCOM is currently led by Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis who is set to retire this year. The command is responsible for 20 countries in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Syria and Yemen.

Austin, currently the Army's vice chief of staff, was confirmed by the Senate earlier this week along with a new commander for the U.S. Africa Command.

The annual holiday party held by U.S. Central Command at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base appears to have been cancelled according to the Tampa Tribune.