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Could North Korea deal impact military's presence in San Diego?

Posted at 5:57 PM, Jun 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-12 21:30:22-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Amid President Trump's historic deal with North Korea, questions have surfaced about the implications for the military in San Diego.

Retired Rear Admiral Len Hering commanded two ships in his three-decade naval career.

"Potentially, how big is San Diego's footprint in that part of the world," asked 10news reporter Michael Chen.

"If called upon, it would be extremely large," said Hering.

So with that in mind, 10news asked Hering if North Korea became less of a threat, could he see a shift in resources away from the San Diego area?

"I don't see that," said Hering.

While there may be fewer specific deployments to that area, Hering expects the military's post-cold-war focus to the West Coast and Pacific Theatre to continue - with an eye on China and treaties with allies.  He says the end of the so-called war game exercises could benefit taxpayers.

"Deployment of forces, exercise requirements, fuel, ammo, people ... tens of thousands of people deployed forward.  In the full groups, it may be four battle groups with 60 to 80 ships deployed," said Hering.

Hering says each war game comes with a steep price tag, tens of millions of dollars.  At the same time, he says ending the exercises is a big loss.

"Bringing those forces together to talk to one another. It's invaluable.  Getting experience and learning the capability or lack of capabilities is critical.  Personal relationships are developed, understanding of topography.  The exercises are priceless and could mean the difference in the early days of a conflict," said Hering.