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Immediate Release

Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks and DoD Senior Leaders Attend 26th Council of Governors Plenary Meeting

Attributable to Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon: 
On Friday, February 10, Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks delivered opening remarks at the 26th Council of Governors plenary meeting in Washington, D.C. alongside Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall, and Assistant to the President and Director of White House Intergovernmental Affairs Julie Rodriguez.
"Last week's response to the violation of U.S. airspace and sovereignty by a PRC surveillance asset illustrates and validates the priority we've placed on homeland defense in our National Defense Strategy," said Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks. "And, because of the homeland defense implications, we were in close contact with state governors and their adjutants general across America. For our part, it showed how deeply we at the Pentagon care about transparency and active communication with state government partners- and it sent a clear message to Beijing that this is unacceptable."
During her remarks, Deputy Secretary Hicks briefed governors on an unidentified aerial object shot down by U.S. fighter jets today off the north coast of Alaska, commended the assembled governors for their ongoing cooperation with the department, and encouraged deepened coordination on implementing new federal laws that help servicemembers and military spouses transfer job licenses more easily after moving to a new state, securing defense-critical supply chains, and mitigating risk to defense-critical infrastructure.
The 26th plenary meeting of the council focused on the progress made pursuing priority issues concerning cybersecurity, emergency management and disaster response, military matters, workforce matters, strengthening state and federal cooperation to safeguard defense critical infrastructure and supply chain resiliency, and strategic defense budget trends. 
Deputy Secretary Hicks was joined by other senior DoD leaders at the plenary meeting, to include Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Mike McCord, Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and Sustainment) Dr. William LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) Gilbert Cisneros, and Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Dan Hokanson. 
Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs Melissa Dalton serves as Executive Director of the Council.
Required by law and established in 2010 by executive order, the Council of Governors is a bipartisan council of 10 state governors appointed by the President to exchange views, information, or advice with federal officials on homeland defense, the National Guard, civil support, and other matters of mutual interest to protect our nation and its people and property. 
Members of the Council of Governors include: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Co-Chair; Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Co-Chair; Delaware Governor John Carney; Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb; Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards; Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer; New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham; Utah Governor Spencer Cox; Vermont Governor Phil Scott; and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.
Other senior leaders from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the White House also participated in the meeting, Federal Emergency Management Agency Deputy Administrator Erik Hooks, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Linda Fagan, and National Economic Council Deputy Director Ronnie Chatterji.