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.