Dempsey Welcomes Chinese Counterpart to Pentagon
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 15, 2014 The Defense Department went all out to welcome Chinese Gen. Fang Fenghui to the Pentagon today.
U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, right, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Chinese Army Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of the general staff, walk together during a full-honor arrival ceremony at the Pentagon, May 15, 2014. This is the first full-honor ceremony Dempsey has hosted since 2012. DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nathan Gallahan
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey hosted the ceremony for Fang, the chief of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army, on the River Entrance Parade Field. It was the first full-honor arrival ceremony for a chief of defense since 2012.
More than 400 U.S. service members participated in the ceremony. It began with honors from the U.S. Navy Band and a thundering 19-gun salute provided by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). As grey smoke drifted toward the Potomac, the commander called the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard ceremonial units to attention.
As Fang trooped the line a group of reporters scrambled to photograph the event.
Once Fang returned to the reviewing stand with Dempsey, the Navy Band played The March for the Brave -- the Peoples Republic of China’s national anthem -- followed by The Star-Spangled Banner.
Dempsey and Fang then introduced each other to their respective staffs and went inside the Pentagon for meetings.
Fang is in the midst of a five-day visit to the United States. He started in California where he visited the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and the littoral combat ship USS Coronado. He also observed Marine training at Camp Pendleton.
The Chinese general arrived in Washington last night and Dempsey hosted a dinner at the National Defense University for him.
Today there are Pentagon meetings. Fang will next travel to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where U.S. Army Forces Command will host him.
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneAFPS)