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Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder Holds a Press Briefing

BRIGADIER GENERAL PAT RYDER: Hey, good afternoon, everybody. Just a few things here at the top and then we'll get right to your questions.

So Secretary Austin hosted Czech Republic Minister of Defense Jana Cernochova today at the Pentagon. The two leaders discussed the bilateral relationship and signed the defense cooperation agreement to further strengthen our defense ties, enhance NATO operations, advance transatlantic security, and protect shared interests and values.

Secretary Austin and Minister Cernochova also discussed a broad range of bilateral and regional issues, to include Ukraine security assistance, and condemned Russia's brutal war of choice in Ukraine. The two leaders also saluted the 30 year anniversary of the Czech Republic's state partnership program with both -- both the Texas National Guard and the Nebraska National Guard. A readout of today's bilateral meeting will be posted on

Separately, Secretary Austin also spoke by phone today with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov to discuss priorities ahead of this week's virtual Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday.

Secretary Austin provided Minister Reznikov with an update of U.S. security assistance efforts and the Minister detailed recent developments on the ground in Ukraine. A full readout of this call will be posted later today on the DOD website.

Looking ahead to this Friday, Secretary Austin looks forward to delivering remarks at the U.S. Naval Academy's 2023 commencement. This ceremony will be held at 10 am at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and the Secretary's remarks will be livestreamed on as well.

Shifting gears, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Colin Kahl is slated to depart for California today, where he'll meet with innovators and chief executives from the private sector, as well as defense personnel from the Navy and the Air Force.

His visit will be largely focused on emerging technologies and space capabilities and how cutting edge technologies can and should factor into the department's planning and concepts. We'll post a readout of Secretary Kahl's trip to the DOD website at the conclusion of his travel.

And in other travel news, Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks is visiting Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska today to gain a deeper understanding of the quality of life issues facing service members stationed in the Arctic, receive operational updates and visit the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies.

Throughout the day, the Deputy Secretary will meet with service members and tour quality of life facilities, to include childcare, lodging, healthcare and fitness facilities, to understand how local leaders are addressing service member needs and assess where adjustments to DOD policy might enable further improvements. These quality of life assessments are part of a wider community-based approach to improving mental health and reducing harmful behaviors like suicide. She'll also receive operational updates from 11th Air Force and 11th Airborne Division commanders.

Of note, this is the second day of a two day visit for the Deputy Secretary to Alaska, and yesterday, she visited Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright. A readout of those visits is available on

And finally, on behalf of Secretary Austin, the department is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Rexon Ryu as the newest member of the Defense Policy Board, which is designed to provide independent advice and recommendations on matters concerning defense policy to the Secretary.

Mr. Ryu is President of the Asia Group, Board Chair of the Asia Group Foundation, and co-host of the Tea Leaves Podcast. He has more than 25 years of experience working in global diplomacy, national policy-making, and executive leadership.

And with that, I'll be happy to take your questions. We'll go to Associated Press, Lita.

Q: Thank you. Two things, Pat. One, the Secretary spoke with the Defense Minister today. Can you give us a sense of what the U.S. assessment is of the conditions on the ground in Bakhmut? Just any sense that the U.S. has as to who's in control and how much control Russia actually has of that area?

And then secondly, can you provide us at this point any additional details on the F-16 training, et cetera? Is there any assessment yet on where the training would take place? Would it be on the U.S. base? And would the U.S. have to provide any, I guess, additional assets or anything anywhere for that? If you could just fill us in on any details at all on some of that? Thanks.

GEN. RYDER: Okay, thanks, Lita. So in terms of Bakhmut, obviously we'll -- we'll let the Ukrainians speak to the specifics of their operations and the particular situation on the ground, which I will note does remain very dynamic.

I will say that even if Russia has taken ground in Bakhmut, we do not assess that it is a strategic gain and that Russian forces have paid an -- an incredibly high price, in terms of lives and capability. Meanwhile, our assessment is that Ukraine's defenses in the area surrounding Bakhmut remain very strong.

In terms of the F-16s, what I can tell you is that training will take place outside of Ukraine, at sites in Europe, but in terms of more details, in terms of when that training will begin, how those jets will be provided, who will provide them. We're -- we're continuing to work with our international partners on that front and we'll definitely keep you updated.

Q: But do you have a sense -- I'm sorry -- do you have a sense whether the U.S. will be -- at least be providing some training assets, whether it's simulators or anything? And is it likely to be on sort of a -- one of the bases where the U.S. is already routinely doing training?

GEN. RYDER: Again, we're working through those details with our partners and we'll provide them once we have more available. I don't have more to provide today.

Let me go to Lara and then Jen.

Q: Thank you. Following up on both of Lita's questions. Thank you -- thank you. On -- on Bakhmut, can you say -- can you confirm for us that Russia has taken the city? You sort of kind of skirted around that point.

And then I have a second question on F-16s.

GEN. RYDER: I -- I -- again, I don't want to get into an operational update about Ukraine here from the podium, other than to say we do know that Russia does hold a significant amount of territory in and around Bakhmut but we also assess that the Ukrainians are continuing to fight in the vicinity of Bakhmut as well.

Q: Okay. And then on -- at -- the F-16s, just want to try to pull the thread a little bit here because obviously the -- the U.S. would have to green light any transfer of aircraft. So can you say anything about what would be the U.S. role in any kind of training or transfer of aircraft writ large for this kind of program?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, so again, Lara, we're -- we're working through those details. As -- as you heard the president say, the United States will participate in terms of supporting an international coalition to help train Ukrainian pilots on the F-16. But in terms of who specifically is going to provide that training, where it's going to be provided and how many aircraft ultimately will be delivered to Ukraine, those are all details that are being worked out. Again, in terms of general location, this will be -- this training will be conducted in Europe, and we'll have more details in the days ahead. Thanks.

Q: Thank you.


Q: General Ryder, can you explain what changed, that the secretary has recommended that F-16s be provided to Ukraine? We've been told for months, really, that it was not on the table. What changed?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, so kind of taking a step back, again, as you know, the United States has been very focused on ensuring that Ukraine has what they need to be successful on the battlefield today, right? If they -- if they are not successful in their counteroffensive, then everything else is largely a moot point. And so to date, we have given them, alongside our international allies and partners, an incredible amount of combat capability, helped them build their combat power.

That said, we've said all along that we are committed to supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes both in the near term and in the long term. At the last Ukraine Defense Contact Group in April, and then shortly afterward, Secretary Austin had received several requests from countries seeking U.S. permission to train Ukrainians on the F-16. So he subsequently took that matter, introduced it into our national Security Council policy process as part of a conversation about how we support Ukraine in the mid to long term and in terms of their defense needs, and there was unanimous agreement that this was something that we should and need to support. So prior to the G7, Secretary Austin made the recommend -- recommendation to proceed with approving allies to train the Ukrainians and transfer that capability.

Q: But is it fair to say that these weapons will be ready for future operations, but not part of the counteroffensive? Are they going to be trained up in time for this -- this counteroffensive?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, so -- so F-16s for Ukraine is about the long-term commitment to Ukraine. These F-16s will not be relevant to the upcoming counteroffensive.

Q: Separately, last question. There are new satellite images showing new progress being made at an underground facility in the center of Iran near Natanz. It's a deeper facility. Supposedly, the images show that -- that it wouldn't be accessible to U.S. conventional weapons. What do you plan to do to stop Iran from using this facility and -- and creating a -- a -- a place where they can enrich uranium to weapons grade?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks, Jennifer. So from a DOD standpoint, I don't have any specifics to provide other than to say that as you well know, the United States has taken a whole-of-government approach when it comes to addressing Iran and its nuclear program. And so from a DOD standpoint, we'll continue to work very closely with the interagency to make sure that we're supporting those efforts, which are very focused on the diplomatic front, as you know. And so I'll just leave it at that. Thank you.

Q: Is it accurate to say that militarily, you could not stop them from using this facility?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, I'm -- I'm not going to get into hypotheticals or talk about specific capabilities that we may or may not have.


Q: Thank you. One last more on the F-16. So we -- you -- you do not expect the F-16s to arrive this year?

GEN. RYDER: Again, we're working through the details. I'm not going to get into timelines right now. We would hope that we will -- we'll be able to start the training within, you know, weeks or months in the relatively near term. In terms of deliveries, again, we'll keep you updated on that front. But we're going to work closely with our allies and our partners on ensuring that the Ukrainian pilots are trained on the F-16, and then at some point in time, we'll be able to have the actual aircraft.

Q: But as far as this year, you can't say at this point whether --

GEN. RYDER: I -- I don't want to put a timeline on it. I don't want to give you bad info. So again, we're working through those right now.

Q: All right.

GEN. RYDER: Thanks.

Okay, we'll go to Oren.

Q: Another F-16 question. The E.U.'s high representative, Josep Borrell, said Ukrainian pilots have started to undergo training on F-16 fighter jets. Can you confirm -- in several E.U. countries. Can you confirm that? And is the U.S. part of whatever training that form is taking right now?

GEN. RYDER: So I did see the press reports. I also have saw -- I also saw a press report that I believe the -- and -- and I'd refer you to Poland, but they essentially came out and said -- confirmed that no training has begun. And to that point, I'm not aware of any training have begun -- had -- that has begun at this point in time. So again, we're working through those details. Thank you.

Let me go back here to Tom, and then Fadi.

Q: Thanks, General. I have a question on Secretary Hicks's trip to Alaska. I'm -- I'm curious from a broader perspective how it -- how it's determined, the timing of these trips. She's in Alaska to survey and study living conditions, including the high rate of suicide up there. She's going in May, when the weather's great and when many servicemen and women take the opportunity to go and take advantage of Alaska's natural resources. Why did she not go into wintertime when it's actually more bleak, when the rate of suicide in Alaska bases is higher and she might get a more thorough opinion of living conditions? Thanks.

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks, Tom. So I think it's important, first of all, to look at this holistically. The deputy secretary obviously conducts a lot of travel, and in terms of the timing of this visit, this was a -- a time -- a good time for her to go and do that. But I would highlight to you that she's not the only senior DOD leader to visit Alaska. There's been a wide variety of senior leaders, to include in the Army and Air Force side, to go there to meet with base officials and to meet with families. We're obviously taking this very, very seriously. Thank you.

GEN. RYDER: And let me go to Fadi, and then I'll come back to Kasim.

Q: Thank you. Thank you, General. I have a question on Bakhmut, and one on the situation in Belgorod. So on Bakhmut, I believe you -- you basically said Russia did not gain any strategic outcome from -- from Bakhmut. However, the Ukrainians tried to defend it for almost a year; suffered major losses in equipment and -- and units, to include elite units. From the DOD perspective, which is providing -- that is providing weapons and advice and -- and training to the Ukrainians, did it make sense to defend Bakhmut at this cost? And do you think the losses suffered by the Ukrainians will have an impact on their ability to launch the counteroffensive, the so-called counteroffensive?

GEN. RYDER: Thanks, Fadi. So a couple things there. First of all, in terms of whether or not it was the right decision for Ukraine to commit the resources that they have in Bakhmut, that's clearly a decision for them to make. It's their sovereign territory and -- and only they can decide how much and where to commit.

What I mean in terms of lack of strategic gain for Russia, if you go back to the beginning of this campaign in terms of, what were the Russian strategic objectives as it relates to Ukraine to essentially eliminate Ukraine as a state, as a country, they have committed, you know, tens of thousands of forces into this area to fight the Ukrainians and it's taken how many months for them to gain the ground that they have? So clearly, again, while they may hold a significant amount of territory in that area, the question is to what end, to what strategic gain? And again, it - we would assess not much at this point. And so hopefully that answers your question.

Q: ...the losses suffered by Ukrainian and - and whether it will have any impact on the ability to launch this counter-offensive - so-called counter-offensive?

GEN. RYDER: You know, look, as I mentioned before, we have been working very closely with our allies and partners to help Ukraine build up its combat power. They have nine mechanized armored brigades that we've provided, they have significant air defense capability. The entire world has come together to ensure that they have ammunition, and importantly, we're also providing training and we're working very closely with them on sustainment and logistics aspects.

So as they prepare to conduct counter-offensive operations, they have got a very strong hand and we're very confident that they have the combat capability that they'll need. And so again, our focus now is going to continue to be on providing them with the security assistance required to sustain and defend - sustain their fight and defend their country.

Q: And if I may on Belgorod, footage circulating on social media accounts about the units that attacked Belgorod showed what it - seems to be some Western and American-provided vehicles or weapons, to include Humvees and at least one MaxxPro MRAP. Is the DOD confident that none of the weapons provided to Ukraine were used on Russian territory? Thank you. 

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, so we've seen those reports, something that we obviously continue to monitor very closely. I will say that we can confirm that the U.S. government has not approved any third party transfers of equipment to paramilitary organizations outside the Ukrainian Armed Forces, nor has the Ukrainian government requested any such transfers. So again, it's something we'll keep a close eye on. Thank you.

Let me go to Kasim.

Q: General, I will follow up on that. So if you haven't authorized the Ukrainian military to - to - to give the U.S.-provided armored vehicles to the groups associated with the military, then does that mean that there were some diversions of the - some of the equipment provided by the United States and found their ways into the hands of paramilitary groups that went into the Russian territories? And what - what's going to be the U.S. response if this - the footages are authentic?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks, Kasim. So - so a couple of hypothetical questions there, right? Again, we're - it's something we're keeping a close eye on. As you know, the United States has communicated regularly with Ukraine that the security assistance that we're providing them is for them to use inside Ukraine as part of their efforts to defend their country and their sovereignty.

You know, I would tell you that when you see imagery like that - you know, again, something we'll look into - I don't know if it's true or not, in terms of the veracity of that imagery. I mean, you'll recall yesterday there were some bogus images of reported, alleged explosions at the Pentagon. So, you know, we just - all of us, both within the DOD and I'm sure in the journalism - journalistic community, have to take a look at these things and make sure we get the facts before we make assumptions.

Like I said, at this point in time, we have not authorized any transfer of equipment, they have not asked for transfer of equipment to so-called paramilitary organizations, and we've put in place some very strict protocols, in terms of end use monitoring, and have had good success working with our Ukrainian partners toward that end.

So again, we'll keep an eye on it, and just leave it there.

Q: And also, with respect to the defense cooperation agreement with the - Papua New Guinea, would you say that, with this agreement, the doors of Papua New Guinea is closed to China now?

GEN. RYDER: I - I'd have to have Papua New Guinea speak for themselves, in terms of their diplomatic relationship with China. Thank you.

All right, time for a few more. Let me go over here and then Eric. Yep.

Q: Thank you, General. I work for German (inaudible). My - ask you to elaborate a bit more on the F-16. You said that it's more long term, so are we seeing actually kind of a new chapter, their post-war planning? And yeah, if you could elaborate on that, thank you.

GEN. RYDER: Sure. Thanks for the question. So - so no, I wouldn't necessarily, broadly speaking, bill it as a new chapter. We've said all along that we will work to support Ukraine's long term defense and - and security as it relates to deterring future aggression.

Clearly, the fight right now is to ensure that they are able to successfully defend themselves while at the same time taking back sovereign territory but we look forward to a long term relationship with Ukraine, in terms of their security assistance needs, and again, with the idea here that they can secure their hard won gains and deter future aggression by Russia. Thank you.

Yes, sir?

Q: Thanks, General. Have the contracts been awarded yet for the commercial satellite imagery services that were part of the latest USAI package? And if not, what's the holdup there? That seems like a pretty straightforward procurement compared to some of the other stuff that's been in these USAI packages.

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks, John. I don't - I don't have any updates to provide on that front. We'll look into that and come back to you. Thanks.

And let me just go to this gentleman right here.

Q: Thank you, General. So a different topic, about the G7 - the G7 leaders agreed to reduce nuclear weapons, but in light of recent international situation, the nuclear weapons have become essential for defense. So how will the U.S. keep this balance?

GEN. RYDER: I - I'm sorry, can you say that last part - how will we keep what?

Q: Yeah, how to keep the balance of the ... 

GEN. RYDER: Keep the balance?

Q: Yeah.

GEN. RYDER: So really, you know, from a Department of Defense standpoint, I'll - I'll defer to State Department and to the - the White House to talk about broad U.S. nuclear policy.

From a DOD standpoint, clearly nuclear weapons are a - an important deterrent capability and we obviously maintain three legs of a triad, but in terms of how we balance, I think part of that is continuing to be very responsible in our management of our nuclear capabilities, making sure that we remain transparent in terms of what our policies are when it comes to the use of nuclear weapons, and also keeping channels of communication open with our partners and adversaries around the world. And it's something that we've worked very hard and I think our record speaks for itself. Thank you.

All right, let me go to Moshe and then we'll go all the way in the back there.

Q: There are reports that the Russian Defense Ministry is claiming that it intercepted two B-1 bombers over the Baltic Sea. I'm just wondering if you can confirm that or have any other information on that?

GEN. RYDER: So we do have two B-1 bombers that are part of a bomber task force, which of course is a - a Air Force Global Strike Command formation that we fly regularly around the world in - in various countries. This is a long planned exercise in Europe and my understanding is that it was a safe and professional interaction with Russian aircraft. So - so nothing significant to report on that front. Thank you.

Yes, sir?

Q: Thank you, General. I have a question about real time North Korean missile warning information-sharing among the United States, South Korea, and Japan. So can you tell me any specific implementation plan, how to share the information with among the three countries?

GEN. RYDER: Yes, I don't -- I don't have anything specific to share from the podium here other than to say, as you highlight, we do have long-standing agreements to work with our partners and allies in the region to share information, particularly as it relates to our mutual defense. But for specifics I'd refer you to USFK. Thank you.

Q: So do you have any indication then North Korea is preparing a satellite launch?

GEN. RYDER: I -- I don't have any information to provide on that. Thank you very much.

Let me go here. And then we'll go back here. And then I'll come to this side of the room. Sorry, guys.

Q: Thanks, General. Is Secretary Austin still confident in the civilian harm mitigation efforts he has put in place considering the May 3rd strike?

GEN. RYDER: Absolutely. And -- and I think it's important here again to -- to look at this big picture. So in terms of CENTCOM's strike, as you know, they conducted that strike on the 3rd of May, they are investigating the allegations of civilian casualties. So, you know, I think our record speaks for itself in terms of how seriously we take these. Very few countries around the world do that. The secretary has complete confidence that we will continue to abide by the policies that we put into place. Thank you.

All right. Let me go to Rachel. And then I'll come back here to you.

Q: Hi, Rachel Cohen, Military Times. Give us an idea of what to expect from the upcoming Contact Group? You know, are there any particular areas of security assistance that he plans to focus on? And now that, you know, the gears are starting to turn on F-16s, you know, what are -- what are you hearing from the partners now as about, you know, what's -- what's the next, you know, hard thing or insurmountable, you know, thing on the wishlist to -- to work through?

GEN. RYDER: Sure. So -- so at this contact group, like the others, it will all start with Ukraine providing an overview of the current security situation there and what their most urgent needs are. And so I would expect that ground-based air defense will continue to be a topic of priority discussion, as well ammunition to ensure, again, that -- that they can sustain the fight. And then there will also be a discussion about F-16 training. Thank you.

OK. Let me go to Carla. And then I'll come right to you.

Q: Thanks. Just to quickly follow up on the B-1 bombers. What aircraft intercepted them? Can you give us more specifics on -- on where this was? You know, how many, what type?

GEN. RYDER: Yes, I'll have to refer you to EUCOM on that, Carla, I don't have that in front of me.

Q: OK.


OK? Yes, sir.

Q: Thank you, General. Konstantin,

Last week the Navy released two reports into suicides at two of their commands. The details of the report -- reports were pretty damning. One of them included the fact that the Navy has failed its own internal audit in terms of suicide prevention, especially given the Deputy Secretary's trip to Alaska which suicide prevention is one of the aspects there. Does the office -- does the secretary have any concerns with the Navy's ability to protect its service-members from suicide?

GEN. RYDER: Yes, I think that the Secretary is very confident that Navy leadership are taking this issue seriously, as are all the service leaders. This is something that he talks about with them regularly. For example, we just recently had a commanders' conference and this was significant topic of discussion in terms of recognizing that for leaders across the department, this is something that we just have to continue to be very focused on. Recognizing that at the end of the day, despite all the equipment we have and all the advanced technologies, people are what matter the most. And so he is very confident that senior leaders throughout the department got that message and that they'll continue to work this very, very actively.

Q: Thanks. Just a quick follow-up: Does he feel that the Navy and all the services have all the resources they need to tackle this problem?

GEN. RYDER: I know that he's going to continue to advocate for them and ask them for what they need, and if they feel that there's more that -- that's required, they will come to him. But again, this will not be a topic we ever stop discussing. Thank you very much.

Time for a couple more. Let me go here, and then go to Luis, and then I'll come back to you for the last question, Kasim.

Q: Thank you, General. Regarding to F-16s, what assurances do you have from Ukraine that they will not use these F-16s to fire into Russia -- I mean, their territory, which could widen this war? Thank you.

GEN. RYDER: Yeah. I would just refer you back to the president's comments during his press briefing over the weekend, where he stated that President Zelenskyy assured him that these aircraft would be used within Ukraine. Thank you.


Q: I'm going to speak very loudly, since I'm in the last row.

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, I can barely hear you.

Q: Thank you for laying out the timeline of what -- how the F-16 decision happened, but can you provide us with an evolution in the secretary's thinking of where -- you know, how his thinking evolved from where it was, understanding that the difference between immediate needs and long-term needs? But how did his thinking evolve? And then I have a question about F-16 support that you mentioned earlier.

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, so again, I think I was, you know, pretty clear in terms of how we got to that decision. Again, the secretary from the very beginning has been one of the most staunch advocates for Ukraine and their defense, as demonstrated by the fact that every single month almost since the beginning of Russia's invasion, he has hosted a Contact Group to ensure that they have what they need to be able to defend themselves. And again, if you go back to February of 2022, the situation that Ukraine found itself in versus today, I think that demonstrates how Secretary Austin and his counterparts from around the world have been able to come together to ensure that Ukraine can fight today and be prepared to defend their country and take back sovereign territory.

When it comes to any type of capability, the key there is making sure that we are focused on getting them what they need to be successful now, and we're at a point in time where as Ukraine has built up significant defensive -- or combat capabilities, we can now start to talk about things like what their long-term needs are going to be.

And also keep in mind, too, that it's not just the United States. And as we look at the dollars that we have allocated to us to be able to provide security assistance for Ukraine, how are those dollars best spent to ensure that they can get the security assistance they need in the immediate term? And so again, the United States will be working very closely with our allies and partners around the world to look at how we can pool resources, as we've done not only for the near term, the medium term, but the long term now, in the case of F-16s.

Q: So one of the things you mentioned at the top was that the U.S. is -- will be providing support for this F-16 training. Does that mean that the United States will provide train -- pilots to train Ukrainian pilots, or is that something that is not on the table?

GEN. RYDER: Again, we'll be working through those details, Luis. I think, you know, as a U.S.-built platform, clearly, exportability aspects, technology transfer aspects are things that we'll be looking at as well, working with our allies and partners on that front. But again, we'll have much more to follow in the days ahead, so...

Let me go to the last question -- oh, two more, OK. Kasim, and then we'll come right back here.

Q: General, a follow-up on the May 3rd strike. So civilian casualty is one aspect of the story, but there is another aspect. The statement that raised was saying that -- was claiming that a senior Al Qaeda leader was targeted, and we never heard back from the CENTCOM who the leader was. Is there a reason that the U.S. military's not releasing the name of the -- the senior Al Qaeda leader?

GEN. RYDER: I'd refer you to CENTCOM to talk about their release.

Q: And since CENTCOM is really reluctant in speaking about the leader they were targeting, could you -- could you take the question, and then if possible, come up with the reason why -- why U.S. military is not releasing it?

GEN. RYDER: Again, Kasim, what I would tell you is that Central Command is investigating the allegation, and when there's more to provide on that front they'll -- they'll be sure to do that. Thank you.

All right, last question. Yes, sir?

Q: All right, General. Thanks for doing this. Earlier this month, the Air Force released imagery of a GBU-57 munitions at Whiteman Air Force Base, I believe it was. The photos were later deleted from social media by the Air Force, presumably. I'm wondering if you can tell us why. And then I have a follow-up.

GEN. RYDER: I'd have to refer you to the Air Force on that. I don't -- I don't have any information on that.

Q: Does the U.S. have sufficient GBU-57s? I know that's been a major unfunded priority in recent years for...

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, I'm not -- I'm not going to get into stockpile levels or -- or readiness discussions. Thanks.

All right, thanks very much, everybody. Appreciate it.