President Donald Trump intends to nominate Pacific Command leader Adm. Harry Harris to be the next U.S. ambassador to Australia, the White House announced Friday.

A press release lauded Harris as “a highly decorated, combat proven Naval officer with extensive knowledge, leadership and geo-political expertise in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Harris is expected to retire from the Navy this year.

In addition to leading PACOM, Harris has helmed Pacific Fleet and 6th Fleet during his 39-year career.

Leaders of commands like PACOM generally spend three years in the position, a mark Harris will hit in May. His successor has not yet been announced.

Harris has in recent years pushed a hard line regarding Chinese island building in the South China Sea, a strategy he warned was “militarizing” those waters.

He called out China for creating this “great wall of sand” during a conference in 2015, a move he cautioned was seeding chaos in the region.

The Senate will vote to confirm Harris’ nomination.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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