Release
Immediate Release

Readout of Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks' Meeting With Swiss Minister of Defence Viola Amherd

May 13, 2022

Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon provided the following readout:

Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks met today at the Pentagon with Federal Councillor Viola Amherd, Switzerland’s Head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection, and Sport (DDPS) to discuss the changing security landscape in Europe, defense efforts to combat climate change, initiatives to increase diversity and inclusion in the military, and improve cyber defense.

The two leaders noted the changing security environment in Europe as a result of Russia’s unprovoked and brutal invasion of Ukraine and increased threats to European security.      

Deputy Secretary Hicks reiterated strong U.S. support for the sale of 36 F-35A aircraft and five Patriot missile systems to Switzerland, which builds on decades of a successful U.S.-Swiss security partnership.

The deputy secretary added that the acquisition of these capabilities will not only increase Swiss sovereign defense capabilities, but will also bolster interoperability and cooperation with other European partners and the United States. 

Deputy Secretary Hicks and Federal Councillor Amherd also discussed U.S. and Swiss priorities related to cyber defense, and agreed to deepen cooperation on cyber security.  

Finally, the two leaders exchanged views on U.S. and Swiss priorities to tackle climate change in order to improve national security, and efforts to improve diversity within the Swiss armed forces, to include increasing the numbers of women in military service.