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US renames Pacific Command in symbolic recognition of Indian importance

The United States announced that it has changed the name of its largest military command last week, in what officials say is a symbolic move that recognises the importance of India in the region.

"In recognition of the increasing connectivity of the Indian and Pacific Oceans today we rename the US Pacific Command to the US Indo-Pacific Command," said US Defense Secretary Mattis at a ceremony last week.

"It is our primary combatant command, it's standing watch and intimately engaged with over half of the earth's surface and its diverse populations, from Hollywood to Bollywood, from polar bears to penguins."

The command oversees all US military activity in the greater Pacific region, and has approximately 375,000 civilian and military personnel.

See more from Reuters here and the BBC here.