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Senate Approves Locklear to Lead Pacific Command: The Senate confirmed the nomination of Adm. Samuel Locklear to lead US Pacific Command. He succeeds Adm. Robert Willard, who held the position since October 2009. Locklear comes to PACOM from US Naval Forces Europe, a command he led since October 2010. The Senate gave Locklear the nod on Feb. 17, eight days after he appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee for his nomination hearing.