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Canada, U.S. Support NORAD Modernization

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand today discussed modernization of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and military assistance for Ukraine's defense at a meeting at the Pentagon.

A man and woman stand next to each other at the top of steps.
Austin and Anand
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand participate in an honor cordon during a bilateral exchange at the Pentagon, Feb. 10, 2023.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexander Kubitza, DOD
VIRIN: 230210-D-PM193-1165

NORAD is a United States-Canada organization with the missions of aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning for North America.

Aerospace warning includes the detection, validation and warning of an attack against North America — whether by aircraft, missiles or space vehicles — through mutual support arrangements with other commands. 

Canada and the U.S., working through NORAD, tracked the recent Chinese surveillance balloon that violated the sovereignty of both countries, Austin said.  

A jet soars in the air against a snowy backdrop.
Noble Defender
Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornets from 3 Wing Bagotville take off from the Iqaluit, Canada, airport during Operation Noble Defender in the Canadian Arctic, Jan. 27, 2023.
Photo By: Photo courtesy of Canadian NORAD Region Public Affairs
VIRIN: 230127-F-DO430-0001C

"That coordination underscored the importance of our alliance and the need for continued investment in NORAD modernization on both sides," he said. 

"We remain concerned by the PRC's [People's Republic of China] increasingly assertive efforts to subvert the rules-based international order that keeps us all secure," Austin said about China's actions.

Austin also mentioned that Canada and the U.S. are members of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which supports Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.

"I'm very grateful for Canada's leadership on Ukraine, including your recent announcement to donate Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine, and I look forward to building on that work today," the secretary said.

A large ship sails in the ocean.
USS Ramage
A view of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Ramage from the fantail of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy, as the Normandy prepares to pull out of Halifax, Canada. Both ships are underway as part of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, Nov. 1, 2022.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Malachi Lakey
VIRIN: 221101-N-LK647-1005

On Jan. 26, Anand announced that Canada will supply Ukraine with four Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks from the Canadian armed force's inventory. 

During that announcement, the minister also said that Canada will provide ammunition and spare parts, as well as deploying Canadian forces to a third country to train Ukrainian soldiers on the use of the tanks.

"Canada's donation is the result of extensive coordination with allies and partners, who are also planning to donate Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine among other Western battle tanks. Canada will work with like-minded allies on discussions relating to tank fleet donations and a sustainment strategy for Ukraine," Anand said in her announcement.

Austin also thanked Anand for Canada's support for bringing greater stability and prosperity to Haiti.

A man and woman walk down a hallway.
Pentagon Meeting
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III walks with Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand during a bilateral exchange at the Pentagon, Feb 10, 2023.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexander Kubitza, DOD
VIRIN: 230210-D-PM193-1242

"Our neighbors in Canada are more than allies and more than friends. We consider you to be family," he said.

Canada has committed over $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine and has trained over 35,000 members of Ukrainian armed forces, Anand said.

And Canada continues to collaborate and cooperate with the U.S. on NORAD modernization, she said.

"The United States is Canada's closest ally. And I want to reiterate how we share more than just the border. We share common values; we share common belief in democracy, in freedom and the rule of law. And our partnership continues to grow," Anand said.

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