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Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby holds a Press Briefing

PRESS SECRETARY JOHN F. KIRBY: Good afternoon, everybody. Just a couple of things to start off with here. On behalf of the entire Department of Defense, the secretary extends our deepest condolences to Rawat family, the Indian military, and the people of India after the tragic death of India's Chief of Defense Staff General Rawat in a helicopter crash. He left an indelible mark on the course of the U.S.-India defense partnership and was at the center of the Indian Armed Forces' transformation into a more jointly integrated warfighting organization.

The secretary had the privilege of meeting with him earlier this year and really came to view him as a valued partner and a friend to the United States. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Rawat family, as they lost other family members in this crash, and of course the families of all the other victims of this terrible, terrible incident. We're -- we are deeply saddened by the loss.

On a schedule note, the secretary will meet tomorrow with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz here at the Pentagon. As you can imagine, they plan to discuss the United States' commitment to Israel's security and shared concerns regarding Iran's nuclear provocations and destabilizing actions in the region. 

We will, of course, issue a readout of the visit after the fact. And I think as you know, just as in the past, there'll be -- there'll be open press access to the arrival and to the very top of the meeting.

Also, I think as you may have seen or heard, President Biden signed an executive order today entitled, “Catalyzing America's Clean Energy Economy Through Federal Sustainability” that demonstrates how the United States will lead by example in tackling the climate crisis.

And work is already underway across the Department of Defense to leverage scale and procurement power to drive clean, healthy and resilient operations. This executive order and its accompanying Federal Sustainability Plan offer a clear statement of the president's priority to address the existential crisis of climate change. 

And as I think you all know, DOD is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the federal government. And so, we're committed to be -- to do our part. Our climate objectives which are laid down in our climate strategy are well aligned with our mission goals; in fact, they are mutually reinforcing. 

Integrating clean energy can help enhance our resilience to all threats, including the effects of climate change. They can help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and help us compete for the energy technologies that are central to -- to our future success. 

So you can read the Federal Sustainability Plan on sustainability.gov. And there's a fact sheet on whitehouse.gov where you'll find some highlights of the department's ongoing activities.

And with that, we'll go to questions. Bob?

Q: Thank you, John. A couple quick questions on Ukraine, has Secretary Austin began consulting with his NATO counterparts about the possibility of reinforcing the eastern flank beyond what was already in the works?

MR. KIRBY: No, there have been no additional consultations about that specific potential outcome, Bob.

Q: Or weapon sales to Ukraine?

MR. KIRBY: You mean security assistance to Ukraine. There's -- I -- we have no new announcements or decisions to make with respect to any additional security assistance with Ukraine. I think, you know, we did approve -- President Biden approved a $60 million security assistance package. The final elements of that will be arriving in Ukraine this week.

Q: Can you say what those are?

MR. KIRBY: Small arms and ammunition is the latest -- the latest units that will be transferred to Ukraine's defense forces.

Q: This week?

MR. KIRBY: This week, yes.

Q: My other quick question, if you don't mind, is on the sexual assault prevention and the military justice reform legislation. Can you say how far the Defense Department has gotten this year in implementing the changes that it has talked about in that regard -- in other words, prior to the legislation?

MR. KIRBY: Well, I mean, you're -- you're not talking about just UCMJ reform, I take it? Yes, we -- we have -- I mean, the biggest thing we did this year was, you know, get the Independent Review Commission stood up, get their findings and recommendations all tabulated. 

And then you saw that Deputy Secretary Hicks issued an implementation roadmap to give us a process by which we could start to implement all those recommendations. And UCMJ reform and the legislative proposal that the department was fostering was one such accomplishment.

We are working hard to develop a dedicated workforce for sexual assault/sexual harassment counselors and advisors. That's going to take some time but the initial work of that is ongoing. We are looking hard at victim support and prevention techniques and trying to capture lessons learned throughout the force. 

And we are -- as I think we've talked about, we are taking a hard look at -- installation by installation. We're already doing that to look at what the unique challenges are in installations, both at home and abroad, because some are just better equipped to deal with this challenge than others. Some of it is just based on geography and where they are and how much support they can get or how much resources to apply to this. 

So there's been a lot of work and it will be ongoing. This is not something we're going to take our foot off.

Yes. Yeah, Abraham.

Q: Yes, thanks. Thanks, John. A follow-on on his question on Ukraine, there's been this phrase thrown around a little bit by administration officials as well as DOD officials called “further invade Ukraine”. This idea of if Putin were to further invade Ukraine, that would trigger some -- some results. 

I wonder, from a DOD perspective, does further invade Ukraine mean putting Russian troops in Donetsk and Luhansk?

MR. KIRBY: I think it means additional incursions into Ukraine, violating their territorial integrity and their sovereignty with additional units inside Ukraine, inside the borders of Ukraine.

Q: Is that part of Ukraine -- U.S. perspective...

MR. KIRBY: I'm sorry?

Q: And Donetsk and Luhansk are considered part of Ukraine?

MR. KIRBY: Of course they are.

Q: Yes, thank you.

MR. KIRBY: Yes. Yeah, Fadi.

Q: Thank you. Thank you, John. So on the -- on the meeting tomorrow with Minister Gantz, does the secretary share with his Israeli counterpart the same conviction that there needs to be room for diplomacy with Iran? And that diplomacy for now is the best way to deal with its nuclear program? 

MR. KIRBY: Does Minister Gantz share the same - I can't speak for Minister Gantz. I think he can understand I wouldn't do that. I'm not even always very eloquent speaking for this Defense Secretary. So, I, I don't want to get in the habit of talking for another leader. 

But -- and there's always a “but” on something like that – the way you phrased it perfectly captures where Secretary Austin is. That as he said, no problem in the Middle East is easier to solve with a nuclear armed Iran. He fully supports the diplomatic effort and outreach that the administration is pursuing in Geneva to try to get back into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. He believes that diplomacy should absolutely be in the lead.

Q: So, will the secretary be making that message clear again, in the meeting with Mr. Gantz? Or only discuss the concerns that both leaders shared about Iran? 

MR. KIRBY: Well, Iran will absolutely be on the agenda tomorrow. And as I said, we'll do a readout of that. So, I don't want to preview or get ahead of the conversation that hasn't happened yet. But whenever Minister Gantz and Secretary Austin have a chance to speak, Iran is right there at the top of the list of things that they talk about. 

And the Secretary has been and will continue to be clear publicly and privately about how he sees the most appropriate path to pursue an Iran that doesn't have a nuclear weapon. But as you also know, his job is to defend this nation. His job is to look after our national security interest in that part of the world, every part of the world. 

And that means making sure that we have the right resources capabilities in the region, specifically in the region, to protect those national security interests. And so, he's going to remain laser focused on that. And a key piece of that, Fadi, is also to, and you've seen this when he's been over there, is to make sure that we're helping contribute to the capabilities of our allies and partners. 

And our defense partnership with Israel is ironclad. We are still committed to their qualitative military edge. So, I mean, all of that will also be part of the discussion, I'm quite sure. 

Q: Thank you.

MR. KIRBY: Yes. In the back there.

Q: Thank you. Caitlin Burke with CBN News. So, with no religious exemptions granted so far for the COVID vaccine, there's concern that members of the military have been stripped of their religious liberties. Can you just speak to that I know you have in the past?

MR. KIRBY: Sure.

Q: And to why that exemption is so rarely granted?

MR. KIRBY: Yes. You're right, there haven't been any religious exemptions granted by the services. I would ask you to speak to the services about their exemption policies. That's not something that's centrally managed at the Secretary's level. 

They are always rare, religious exemptions. For medical – military medical requirements are just – they are typically historically very rare. I can't speak to each and every case. Again, I’d point you to the services. But this has absolutely nothing to do with trampling on the religious liberties of our men and women in uniform. 

I mean, one of the things that when you sign up to serve in the military, one of the many things that you sign up to defend is the right to worship, the right to or not to worship. And we obviously respect that inside the ranks the military, that's why the services each have Chaplain Corps. That you know, corps of people dedicated to looking after the spiritual needs of men and women in uniform as well as their families. 

So, this is not about liberties, it's about a military medical requirement to keep them safe, to keep their family safe, to keep their units safe. And the Secretary continues to strongly believe that these vaccines are the best way to do it with respect to COVID. And just because none have been approved doesn't mean that they can't still be applied for. As we've said in the past, and not everybody, look, there'll be some medical exemptions. 

And people that whose doctors won't, you know, don't want them to get the vaccine. And we understand that. And for those who do strongly feel like their case merits a religious exemption, they are absolutely entitled to ask for that. Yes, ma'am. 

Q: Thank you, Liz Friden with Fox News. With the NDAA the House passed last night. Is there anything not included in that you wish would have been included in it? And as far as the Senate passage goes, are you hopeful that they're going to pass on time?

MR. KIRBY: So, I'm, because it's still working its way through legislatively, I'm going to refrain from providing a detailed comment on what's in it and what's not in it. As you rightly pointed out, it has now gone to the Senate and then ultimately to the White House. I'm sorry, and your second question was?

Q: Is there anything that this year makes it different than in years past?

MR. KIRBY: Well, I mean, the big muscle movement is the sexual assault, sexual harassment provisions. I mean, that's a historic initiative here removing those crimes and related crimes, the prosecution of them outside the chain of command. There's lots of puts and takes again, I really would rather not deliberate over all of them, while it still has to go to the Senate. 

We stand by the budget that we submitted under President Biden's total budget, back in the spring. Stand by, every article in there and everything that we that we felt we needed. So, I would point you back to our budget testimony in terms of where we are on all these various programs. I remember now, I think your second question was about how fast we want this.

Obviously, we'd like an appropriated budget as quickly as possible. You saw the Secretary commented on Monday about continuing resolutions. Now that was about the prospect of a yearlong. I mean, we've got a CR now that gets us into February, but a CR is very limiting. It doesn't allow us to start new programs. 

And it ties our hands in other areas. So, we would obviously like to see a budget, the NDAA passed as soon as possible. 

Q: Thank you very much. And I do have a question on a completely different topics, the fuel leakage at Red Hill in Honolulu. I was told the Navy's going to put out a statement today on it. But do you know anything about what their plan is moving forward? And how does it I mean, affects the fleets in the Pacific? What's the impact?

MR. KIRBY: Yeah, so, let me first say that the Secretary is obviously aware of this issue. And he's following it closely. And nothing's more important to him and, or to the department. And I know the Navy feels this way as well, then the health and welfare of our people and their families. And obviously, we're all deeply concerned by the prospect that contaminated water would have found its way into on base residences and into the daily lives and diets of our people. 

So, it's of significant concern to the Secretary. Now, he's been in touch with the Secretary of the Navy. As you know, the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations were out in Hawaii just a couple of days ago. Doing town halls, talking to experts, trying to get their arms around this. 

I certainly won’t get ahead of their investigative efforts or what decisions they might make. So I’ll point to the Navy for, in in fact, they’re going to have some sort of announcement or something to speak to today. But it is something the Secretary’s very closely monitoring and very much in touch with Navy leaders on. 

Yeah, Janne? 
 

Q: Thank you, John, the commander of the U.S. Army in Japan , General Vowell. Said that annual reporting yesterday that he called with reporters – hold on a second – he said that the combined the anti-aircraft defense must be strengthening, in response to threat from North Korea, China, Russia. 

And he also pointed out that these countries are collective threat acting. And then my question is, China is interfering with the desired defense system in U.S. and South Korea. Are the defense system of the U.S. and South Korea effectively working against the threatening from those countries?

MR. KIRBY: This is the kind of capability that we not only believe we need in the region, but that we need to continually review and upgrade as necessary. And I think the General is speaking to that need. To that the importance of that capability. I think this all folds very significantly into the Secretary's vision of integrated deterrence. 

And you heard him talk about this out at the Reagan Forum. This fully netted effort to get capabilities and operational concepts working together with modern technology. To help change the calculus of any would be foe. And what you heard the Secretary talk about, and I think it gets to the General’s point. 

That it's not just about U.S. Joint Forces and capabilities working together but combined as well with our allies and partners. I won't talk to the specifics of defense systems on the peninsula. But as you well know, the Secretary was just out there. And he had a lot of good discussions with Minister Suh and President Moon.

 About the defensive capabilities that we continue to have on the peninsula. And how we can keep those robust. And I would just tell you that it's not something we ever just sit back on and say, OK, it's perfect. We got it right, we're not going to change it. It's something that air and missile defense in particular is something that we always want to review and adjust as necessary.  

MR. KIRBY: You're welcome very much.  Travis.

Q: John, thanks. I wanted to follow up on the UAP group that Deputy Secretary Hicks recently created because there was some significant movement on Capitol Hill about it. Is that group currently active in collecting and analyzing data from the services? For if it's not, is there some timeline of when it's expected to be fully stood up in operational? 

MR. KIRBY: You know, Travis I can't sit here and tell you for sure that there's like been an initial kickoff meeting. I mean the Deputy Secretary did launch and established this group. And we talked about it last week, I think. So, it is active it is, it's a real thing. I mean, when the Deputy Secretary signs out a memo establishing a group, then it is established. But I don't have an update for you today on sort of what the battle rhythm is, and how they're getting their arms around this. 

It's important to remember, it's not like this is a board of directors, but it's really about a process through which we can better collect reports, assess them, analyze them. And then make recommendations to policymakers as a result of them. So, I want you to think more process and procedure and less about it being some sort of stationary, you know, the group that that sits in an office somewhere and has daily meetings. 

It's really about making sure that we are doing a better job at collating the information. As you know, it was, prior to this, kind of coming in sporadically from, mostly, from pilots in the Navy in the Air Force. And it wasn't a common set of rules and procedures for how that information was being taken in and analyzed.

Q: Can I just follow up on it because there's legislation on the Hill that deals with how it would be collected and who would do the collecting. So, I'm wondering about, you know, the department is very vast. What are the mechanisms that DOD is using to collect this information? Are there actual individuals that go out and get it? 

Or are individual units, all the units within the department being educated on how it should be collected? And how it should be filed? Can you talk at all about how that work is being done?

MR. KIRBY: Yes, I mean, I think as we talked about when we rolled out this group. They will be focusing on proactively identifying objects. So how that's going to be done, I don't know. And they've just recently been established, but it's about, trying to again, actively identify objects rather than focusing on objects that were already observed by not identified. Again, what that’s going to look like, I don’t know. 

Clearly, they're still going to be interested in reports that are organic and are coming in just intrinsically from pilots that see things that they can't identify. So, I mean, my supposition would be that it'd be a little bit of both, you know, trying to find ways to, as I said, more proactively identify objects. But also taking in reactive reports that we get from aviators. OK, let me go to the phones here. Luis Martinez.

Q: Hey, John. You mentioned with regards to the Hawaii fuel incidents that the Secretary is monitoring it closely. Given that Hawaii has a large joint presence of the services, is there consideration maybe to expanding on whatever looks are ongoing right there at Pearl Harbor? Beyond there to some of the other bases that have belonged to the other services.

MR. KIRBY: Luis, I don't think we're at that point right. Now, that's not to say we might not need to get to that point. But I think we'll whatever - I think we need to be informed by what the Navy's learning here. And they have just launched an investigation into this. And I think that will greatly inform whether there needs to be something additional done to look at other bases across the force. 

That said, I don't want that to be interpreted as you know, we’re -- we don't take issues of contamination seriously. We obviously do, and so there's an expectation that service leaders and base commanders, installation commanders are constantly reviewing and looking at their own environmental standards. And how those standards are being met, so that our families, our men and women and their families can reliably live on base and safely upon base. 

That's something that we expect leaders to do all the time. So, I think we'll see what the Navy learns here. Again, he's monitoring this closely. And if there are other decisions that need to stem from what they learn, I'm sure he will listen closely to that kind of advice and counsel. And we'll do the right things. We'll do the things that we need to do to keep our people safe. 

This - we take this very seriously. The reports are deeply concerning of people having to ingest or be exposed to contaminated water in military housing. I mean, that is no small matter. So, he's going to stay closely looped in with the Navy throughout this process. Yes. Sylvie.

Q: Hello, John. I would like to go back to Bob's question about reinforcing the defense of the eastern flank of NATO. I understand there are no more consultations, but is the Pentagon actively preparing on sending supplemental forces or troops or weapons? 

MR. KIRBY: Well, I don't mean to leave you with the impression, I don't, I hope I didn't do that with my answer to Bob. That there's not going to be any more consultations, we continue to consult with allies and partners about what we're seeing. But to your question about additional capabilities, that national security adviser said, you know, we're not at that point right now. I mean, what Mr. Sullivan said was, if there is a further incursion – invasion into Ukraine, and if our NATO allies request additional capabilities to assist them with their own defensive needs or requirements, then we would positively look at those requests. So, we're just not there yet, Sylvie.

Q: OK. And still staying, you know, staying in the “if”, how long would it take between the request and the effective sending of troops or weapons? 

MR. KIRBY: You won't like my answer, but it is, it depends, right? I mean, it's going to depend on what the request is. And how close those capabilities and resources are. I mean, we have as you know from when we rolled out the Global Posture Review, we have a significant force presence in Europe already. And many of those units are on rotational deployments. 

They can be moved about fairly efficiently. So, there's a lot of capability in-house already on the continent, General Walters has at his disposal. But again, it would all come down to what the request is. Not unlike the way we handle requests for forces here domestically, right? When another agency wants assistance from whether it's National Guard and vaccines or whether it's troops on the southwest border. 

There's a process to look at a request to validate it and source it out. We're very good at that. And some of those can move faster than others, again, depending on the scope and the scale and the geography. Eric.

Q: Still on Ukraine. Has the U.S. government placed any conditions or restrictions on where, how and when the Ukrainian military can use the JAVELIN anti-tank missiles that have been delivered so far?

MR. KIRBY: Our expectation for use of the JAVELINs, Eric are there to be used in a self-defensive mode. For self-defense purposes. But there is no geographical restriction on where they can be used inside Ukraine. We expect them to use them responsibly and for purposes of self-defense. 

Q: So, if they're deployed on the frontlines today, they can basically be used in any way the Ukrainian commander see fit?

MR. KIRBY: They belong to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Eric. And our expectation, when we've delivered them is again, that they will be used responsibly for self-defense. But we have not tied them to a geographic region inside Ukraine. And we would expect, I mean, you didn't ask this, but I mean, all the articles that we have provided in security assistance packages, just like I told Bob. 

There's another package arriving this week, with small arms and ammunition, everything that we're providing. We expect them to use responsibly and for their own self-defense. Yes, sir.

Q: Thank you, sir. I have a question regarding a report that China's seeking to establish a Naval Military Base in Equatorial Guinea, by the coast of Africa. You touched on this on Monday, in your press conference. You said that this would raise national security concerns for the U.S. but that’s kind of vague. What exactly are these national security concerns regarding this incident? And what would the U.S., the U.S. DOD, be prepared to do to counter such a move by China? 

MR. KIRBY: I think I'm going to leave my answer the way it was on Monday. I think I'm just going to leave it there if you don't mind. Let me get back to the phones. Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post.

Q: Thanks, John. So, two questions, first just going back to the Iran issue. There seems to be growing impatience among Israeli leadership with the diplomatic process and, you know, more agitation towards doing something militarily. So, I know you said Secretary Austin thinks the diplomatic approach should lead. But what on the military side, is he willing to talk about if anything in this meeting with Gantz tomorrow? 

And then my second question is going back to the Ukraine issue. The NDAA that just passed the House last night and is looking to pass the Senate this week, would put another 15 million on the table for assistance in the next fiscal year. 

What type of assistance is that - would that actually be paying for? Is it more small arms and ammunition? Or would it be something that would be more - have more power, I guess, to use against Russia?

MR. KIRBY: OK. So, on your first question. Obviously, I wouldn't speak again to specifics of the conversation hasn't happened yet with Minister Gantz. As I said, they always talk about the threats that Iran poses. And as also said, to Fadi, I mean, he takes seriously our responsibility to defend against threats in the region. 

And we have robust capabilities there in the region. He got the chance to see some of them on a recent trip out there to Bahrain, I think you can understand why it wouldn't be prudent here from the podium to speak to “ifs” and “thens” in terms of what might be available. Our job is, as always, to provide the President options. And this job, this institution is charged with providing primarily military options to the President. 

But ultimately, those are decisions that only the commander-in-chief can make. Again, the Secretary supports the work of diplomats and a diplomatic solution to this. He supports a return to the Iran deal. But obviously, that negotiating that return is in the hands of our diplomats at the State Department. And in the meantime, he has large responsibilities to make sure that we can protect our national security interests there in the region. 

On Ukraine, I have - we are aware of that, of that article in the pending legislation that passed the House last night. Again, I don't want to get ahead of legislators, lawmakers have to decide this. And before they can send it to the President. So, I would be loath to get into specifics there. And to your other question about sort of what would it look like? I mean, some of that could be decided by the legislation itself. I mean, how specific do they write in whether this proposal passes the Senate and gets to the President desk. 

I mean, it's going to it's a lot of is going to depend on how it's written. All I can tell you is that of the $60 million package that President Biden already approved, and we are now finishing up this week, there is both lethal and non-lethal there is both, you know, articles in their assistance. Everything from JAVELIN anti-tank missiles that we talked about just a few minutes ago, to patrol boats, to small arms and ammunition, which we talked about a little bit earlier. 

Of course, and then there's, you know, more benign articles, you know, medical assistance and that kind of thing. Medical articles and that kind of thing. So, again, I can't speak for the legislation that hasn't passed yet. All I can tell you is that this administration has been willing to provide security systems items to Ukraine that actually really does help them defend themselves. Meghann.

Q: The Air Force released its COVID-19 guidance today for airmen who don't comply with their vaccine mandate. It includes specific language for the National Guard. It does not address what will be done in the case of somewhere like Oklahoma, where you have a chain of command that has said we don't - we're not going to enforce this mandate. And so, you may have commanders who don't report that they have airmen or soldiers eventually, particularly possibly in the Army, who aren't vaccinated. 

What powers do the military departments have from this level to reach down into those records and do their own auditing? If they have to worry about commanders who are not going to report their unvaccinated troops, is that something that they can do from up here to initiate their consequences?

MR. KIRBY: That is a very specific question for which I have no specific answer. I'm going to have to take that one Meghann. That one gets more detailed than then I think I'm prepared to go into right now. You did, you're right the Air Force did submit their memo. The Army will be submitting theirs relatively soon we think. And again, the only large point I'd make is this is a valid military requirement. And a member's participation, their ability to participate as a National Guardsmen or as a reservist, quite frankly, could be put in jeopardy if they refuse the vaccine and they're not otherwise exempted. So, Mike already wrote it down. I don't know how much we're going to be able to answer that. But we'll see what we can do. It may be that we point you to the Guard Bureau's but let me take it. See what I can do.

Q: The question has become if you have a chain of command that is not considers itself not accountable to the Secretary at this point.

MR. KIRBY: Understood.

Q: How can you enforce this mandate, when it is up to them to enforce it?

MR. KIRBY: No, I get it. It's a fair question. I just, I'm not a legal expert on this. And I really don't want to venture into speculation here until we can do a thoughtful job of trying to answer it. 

Q: I appreciate that.

MR. KIRBY: All right. OK. Sam LaGrone from USNI.

Q: Hey, John. Earlier, you all put out a statement warning about the effects of a yearlong CR in the Defense Department budget. What do you all know that we don't? Haven't really gotten a good sense of you know, that's a possibility right now, is that something that you all are trying to preempt with the statement? Or just trying to understand how to put that into context? Thanks. 

MR. KIRBY: Yeah, no, Sam. It's not about knowing something you don't. In fact, I rarely have found that I know something that you don't. But we have sort of seen this play out before, or CRs of short duration get extended and extended. And I think this was really a chance for the Secretary to make clear his concerns about continuing resolutions in general. But also, the prospect of this going longer. 

And he just wanted to be on the record, to make sure that our troops and our families and American people understood the damage that a long term, in this case, potentially a yearlong CR could have. But it wasn't about having some specific sense of that you don't have, Sam. It's really about just making sure that we make clear the damage that a CR can have, particularly over the long term. Wafaa?

Q: Hi. Tomorrow, the final meeting of the Military Technical Committee in Iraq is taking place. So can you give us an insight on whether there will be made an announcement regarding the end of the transition to a noncombat role. Should we expect that tomorrow?

MR. KIRBY: There'll be a joint statement, Wafaa, issued at the end of the meeting. So I would stay tuned for that. What I can tell you is that the United States will uphold our commitments. The commitments we made back in July, including that there will be no U.S. forces with a combat role by the end of the year. 

U.S. forces will remain in Iraq, of course at the invitation of the Government of Iraq in an advising, assisting, enabling, and intelligence sharing role to support the Iraqi Security Forces in their fight, continuing fight against ISIS. So again, I'd stay tuned. We expect there'll be a joint statement at the end of the talks tomorrow. OK. I think I take one more here from the phone. And looks like that might be doing it for us, Tony Capaccio?

Q: Hey there, John. I had a couple of questions on Ukraine, I want you to round it out a little bit. In the $60 million package, how many of JAVELINs have been delivered to date on top of the roughly 360 that we've delivered over the last few years?

MR. KIRBY: I don’t have an exact number on that for you, Tony. 

Q: You do or do not?

MR. KIRBY: Do not have an exact number for you on that.

Q: Can you take that as a question then? As a follow up. 

MR. KIRBY: You said you had another one? 

Q: Yeah, has DOD made additional - an additional recommendation to the White House that anything else be sent? You know, since November 1, when tension started roiling again, over there.

MR. KIRBY: Look, I think, as you know, Tony, we're a planning organization. And we try to think through all manner of contingencies here. I won't detail interagency conversations one way or the other. With respect to an additional security assistance package, you heard the National Security Adviser yesterday talk about this in broad terms, that's certainly an option, a possibility, should there be a further incursion in Ukraine. 

But there's been no decisions made about that, Tony. Not only a decision to do it or not to do it, but if to do it, what would that look like? I think, you know, those kinds of discussions are ongoing, and we're just not at that point right now.

Q: [CROSSTALK] the more aid if Russia invades? I mean, why not give it before Russia invades. Somebody might ask you that.

MR. KIRBY: Somebody might ask that. Yes, you're right, Tony. Somebody might ask that but you didn't ask that. So, I think I'm going to leave it where I left it. Thanks, everybody. Have a good day.

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