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Immediate Release

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Makes Christmas Calls to Service Members

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke yesterday and today over video-teleconference with service members from each branch of the armed forces to wish them happy holidays and a Merry Christmas.

The Secretary expressed his appreciation for their service in defense of the nation and the support they provide to our Allies and partners around the world.  Secretary Austin highlighted the professionalism with which these men and women continue to perform their duties and offered his gratitude for their – and their families’ – service and sacrifice during the holidays. 

Below is a list of the units with which he spoke:

443rd Air Expeditionary Squadron (AES), Al Asad Air Base.  Airmen from the 443rd AES are forward deployed to provide continuous airfield support to partner nations across Iraq for Operation Inherent Resolve.

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Carrier Strike Group 8.  Sailors aboard Truman, flagship of Carrier Strike Group 8, are currently conducting a routine deployment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations to work alongside allied and partner maritime forces.

Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 (VMM-365), Marine Aircraft Group 26. Marines assigned to VMM-365 are supporting North Africa Response Force 22.1.  Their primary responsibility is to be ready to respond to any crisis that may arise in the assigned North and West African Region.

53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Florida Army National Guard.  While deployed, Soldiers from the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team are conducting multinational partnering with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

10th Space Warning Squadron (SWS), Space Delta 4.  Guardians from the 10th SWS are stationed at Cavalier Space Force Station, North Dakota, to provide strategic and theater missile warning to the United States and international partners.