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Immediate Release

Readout of Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks' Remarks at the Department of Air Force CORONA Conference

Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon provided the following readout:

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks participated in a classified fireside chat via video teleconference yesterday with Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall and delivered an address to senior Department of the Air Force leaders about the role of the Air Force and Space Force in contributing to strategic competition with the People's Republic of China pacing challenge during the Department of Air Force's bi-annual CORONA leadership conference.

The Deputy Secretary discussed the impact of Senate holds on officers, their families, and the Department, noting that "it's unnecessary, it's unprecedented, it's unsafe. It's bad for our military, it's bad for our military families, and it's bad for America."

She reiterated the important role Department of the Air Force leaders play in supporting the U.S. National Defense Strategy and the Department, to include providing advice to department-level leadership on force posture and resource allocation. 

"We rely on your intellect, your foresight, and your strategic analysis," said Deputy Secretary Hicks. "Nowhere is your value more clear than against the pacing challenge of the People's Republic of China." 

The Deputy Secretary reiterated that the Department remains focused on advancing the U.S. National Defense Strategy, with the PRC as the pacing challenge. 

The Deputy Secretary and Secretary Kendall discussed effective use of DoD resources, service member quality of life and Taking Care of People, managing risk, and the pacing challenge.

This event is a part of a series of touchpoints with senior service leaders to communicate Department priorities and initiatives.