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Immediate Release

Readout of Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks’ Meeting With Austrian Federal Minister of Defense Klaudia Tanner

Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon provided the following readout:

Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks met today with Austrian Federal Minister of Defense Klaudia Tanner to emphasize strong DoD support for the growing U.S.-Austrian defense relationship, and discuss the changing security landscape in Europe, defense efforts to combat climate change, and efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the military.

Dr. Hicks commended Minister Tanner for her country’s support to the international response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, including the provision of humanitarian aid, and underscored the importance of continued support for Ukraine. 

She also expressed appreciation to Minister Tanner for her country’s role as a leading voice within the EU for promoting security, stability, and prosperity in the Western Balkans, and for Austria’s recent deployment of an additional infantry company to support the European Union Force (EUFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The two also discussed the importance of cooperation on improving military mobility in Europe.

Deputy Secretary Hicks highlighted the Austrian decision to pair with the Vermont National Guard through the Department of Defense State Partnership Program as an example of the deepening defense relationship, and said the partnership will help to strengthen U.S.-Austrian military-to-military cooperation across a range of defense and security issues.

The two leaders then exchanged ideas on adapting to the security challenges posed by climate change, as well as ways to increase the recruitment and retention of women in their respective armed forces.