Deputy Secretary, Joint Chiefs Chairman Begin Overseas Trips
By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2013 Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, begin international travel today, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters.
Carter left this morning on a seven-day trip to Central and Southwest Asia, Little said, adding that the deputy secretary will visit with counterparts from around the region and troops in that part of the world.
Dempsey leaves this evening for the NATO Military Committee Conference in Budapest, Hungary, and returns this weekend, the press secretary said.
Little said the Military Committee Conference includes the chief of the military committee and the chiefs of defense from NATO’s 28 member countries. The committee is the alliance’s highest military authority.
The session will focus on current operations and NATO transformation, and discussions will include ongoing allied operations in Afghanistan and the Western Balkans, he added. Members will cover how NATO can transform itself to make the best use of available resources with the Connected Forces Initiative, Smart Defense projects and NATO exercises and training activities, Little said.
A reporter asked the press secretary whether Dempsey would discuss Syria in the NATO meeting. “It would surprise me if Syria did not come up on the agenda,” he replied.