Transcript

Pentagon Press Secretary Conducts a Briefing to Reporters

April 26, 2021
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby

PRESS SECRETARY JOHN F. KIRBY: OK, I do have a few things to get through. So just give me a few minutes here.

As the secretary said on Saturday, we are all incredibly saddened to hear of the tragic loss of the 53 Indonesian sailors on board their submarine. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those sailors and everyone in the Indonesian military as they cope with this tragedy.

Now, shifting to India, the United States deeply values our partnership and we are determined to help the people of India as they bravely combat this outbreak.

To that end, I think you saw, over the weekend, in the secretary's statement that the department is working closely with other U.S. agencies to rapidly deploy oxygen-related equipment, rapid testing kits, personal protective equipment, and other essential materials to our Indian partners.

We are also in close communication with the government of India to ensure that we are providing India's frontline health care workers with any support we can offer within our authority. In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to coordinate with our allies in likeminded countries to ensure that our collective efforts are closely synchronized and poised to have the maximal impact at mitigating this crisis.

The department is also looking to begin making delivery of supplies within the next few days. We'll also provide transportation and logistics assistance to deliver these needed supplies as quickly as possible.

On to schedule. The secretary will conduct several visits to combatant commands this week. We'll have the opportunity to meet with senior military leaders to better understand the important capabilities that they bring to their mission of defending this nation and of course the challenges that they're facing.

So, tomorrow, the secretary will visit U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency. Then, beginning on Thursday, he will travel to U.S. Space Command and then onward to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and then on the way home from U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, to U.S. Strategic Command, to discuss deterrence, the department's space strategy and the department's integrated approach toward preserving the nation's strategic advantage during this era of great power competition.

Also on Friday, while at Indo-Pacific Command, he will preside over the change of command ceremony there between Admiral Davidson and Admiral Aquilino.

Also of note, today's the last day of Unmanned Integrated Battle Problem 21, off the coast of California -- we talked about this a week or so ago, when the exercise started.

In this exercise, unmanned surface vessels Seahawk and Sea Hunter demonstrated the ability to find and locate opposition forces, and the MQ-9 Sea Guardian integrated with manned naval, air and surface and subsurface assets in an -- in a successful anti-submarine warfare exercise -- boy, that was hard to get out.

Operational vignettes like this from U.S. Pacific Fleet enable us to further incorporate unmanned capabilities into our day-to-day fleet operations and battle plans.

Now, as you also are well aware, the president announced on Friday his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve in key national security positions here in the department.

Shawn Skelly for assistant secretary of defense for Readiness; Deborah Rosenblum as assistant secretary of defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs; Christopher Maier as assistant secretary of defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict; and Sue Fulton as assistant secretary of defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

These deeply qualified public servants represent decades of combined expertise in national security. The secretary is grateful for their willingness to serve the country, and he urges the Senate to confirm them soon.

Speaking of personnel, today, we onboarded Samuel Brennen as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Plans and Posture. This would now bring our total number of appointees up to 105.

Finally, following a thorough safety review, as I think you've seen, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have determined that the recommended pause regarding the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the United States should be lifted, and use of the vaccine should resume.

So DOD sites will now begin a controlled resumption of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine later this week. DOD will ensure all recipients of the vaccine are aware of all known side effects and potential risks before they receive it.

The department currently has approximately 100,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that are located primarily in INDOPACOM, European Command, Central Command, Southern Command and Africa Command Areas of Responsibility.

With that, I'll start taking questions. And I think I've got Bob on the phone.

Q: Yes, thank you, John. I have a question for you about Afghanistan. Last week, General McKenzie mentioned that the U.S. will continue to support Afghan forces after the withdrawal is completed. He gave an example of conducting aircraft maintenance remotely, in other words, from another country.

And my question is whether Secretary Austin has -- has asked for or has received a plan or a concept of operations for how far you can go with this kind of remote continuation of the mission of advising and assisting and supporting Afghan forces when you're not actually there? Thank you.

MR. KIRBY: Yes, Bob. Actually, he and General McKenzie have talked about this exact idea. As you heard the secretary say in Brussels, we will continue a measure of financial support and one of the things that we want to look at is their -- their contractual needs, and the degree to which they are still going to require particularly aviation maintenance support, and I think that's primarily what General McKenzie was referring to.

So, yes, they have been in touch. He is expecting General McKenzie to come back before the end of the month, by the end of the week, with an adjusted, revised drawdown plan and also looks for the general's recommendations -- as well as those of General Milley too, their recommendations about contractual support, going forward.

So we don't have all the answers right now, Bob, but yes, there is -- there's a lot of thinking being done about how that contractual support will look like, going forward.

Q: One quick follow-up. Would this include operational support? In other words, to help them for example to conduct airstrikes with information intelligence or kind of technical advice?

MR. KIRBY: No, Bob, that's not the -- that's not the nature of support to Afghan Security Forces. As I think you heard General Miller say over the weekend, when he spoke to reporters, that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces must be ready to assume the responsibility to defend their citizens and their country.

Our support to the Afghan -- Afghan forces will be primarily financially based, and certainly again we're looking at how we can continue to support in a responsible way some of their contractual requirements for things like aviation maintenance.

Q: Thank you.

MR. KIRBY: Yes, Meghann?

Q: Can you confirm reporting from early today that about 650 special operators are heading to Afghanistan to do security for the draw down and are there any plans to send or what are the plans to send logistics troops as well to help everybody break things down and move it out?

MR. KIRBY: I'm not at liberty to confirm those press reports that had a very specific number and a very specific type of force protection assets. I think you can understand we want to be careful about some elements of our ability to provide for force protection.

But Meghann, as we've said almost from the get-go, I think you can expect that there will be and addition of -- of posture in Afghanistan to assist with this draw down to make sure that it is safe and orderly.

But again, without confirming the specifics, and then this -- in keeping with that same idea, to make sure that the draw down is safe and orderly as we have said, it is perfectly logical that we may see additional logistics personnel and engineering support, again, to help with the physical movement of assets and people out of Afghanistan.

I don't have any announcements to make today or specific orders to speak to but that is certainly one of the things that we're looking at and it should come as no surprise to anybody that we would -- would probably have to provide some enabling capabilities into Afghanistan to allow this to occur, very similar to how we've done similar operations in the past.

Q: But you're not not sending security protection to Afghanistan?

MR. KIRBY: Well, I mean that's a weird way of putting it. I mean we talked about Friday the extension of the aircraft carrier Eisenhower in the region and the addition of some B-52 assets, which now number four in the region to help provide force protection. So no, we are not not sending force protection assets.

I just won't -- there -- there'll be some force protection assets that we'll be able to talk about and then they'll be some that we probably aren't going to want to detail in any great specificity again for purposes of force protection and operational security.

We have to assume though we don't want it to be this way that this draw down could be opposed by the Taliban. And again, we want to make sure that first and foremost that doesn't happen.

And secondly, if it does that we've got enough capability to make sure that we can protect our people as they move out of the country. OK. Let's see, Jeff Selden, VOA?

Q: Thanks. Sorry about the delay, was getting off mute. I was wondering if you have any update on the Russian troops along the border with Ukraine. You threw out some hope last week that they would be moving back but you said it was too early to see. Have you seen anything over the weekend that gives you any confidence perhaps that Russia is sticking to what it said it would do and pull those troops back?

MR. KIRBY: Well, without getting into great specificity because you know we're loathe to speak about intelligence assessments here. We have seen some departure of some forces away from -- away from Ukraine. Russian forces away from Ukraine.

But it's -- as I said Friday and I think we would still maintain this that it's -- it's too soon to tell and to take at face value Russian claims that what they said was an exercise is now over and they're pulling everybody back. So we're going to keep watching this very, very closely.

Inside the room, ma'am.

Q: Hi, yes. I think you mentioned four B-52s is that in addition to the two – sorry.

MR. KIRBY: It's a total of four.

Q: -- so two came.

MR. KIRBY: There were two.

Q: Thank you.

MR. KIRBY: There's another two.

Q: That have come since Friday.

MR. KIRBY: That's correct.

Q: Thank you.

MR. KIRBY: Yes. OK, Janne, go ahead.

Q: Yes, thank you -- thank you, John. On the missile defense system but how is the THAAD missile deployed in South Korea (inaudible), is there -- is there defenses -- I mean missile defensive system of the South Korean (inaudible) United States that is operating wear or what -- how is the situation in --

MR. KIRBY: I don't have any -- I don't have any specific missile defense capabilities to speak to Janne, and I think you can understand why we'd want to be careful about that. Obviously we take our commitments very seriously there on the Peninsula, and South Korea is a treaty ally, and we're committed to the defense of South Korea in any number of ways and across a range of capabilities.

But I don't have anything specific on missile defense to speak to today.

Q: You know that South Korea (inaudible) government ahead of agreement with China not to enter the missile defense system with United States. Are there any plans to deploy additional THAAD into South Korea.

MR. KIRBY: I don't have any additional capabilities to speak to today, no.

Q: All right. Can you take the question?

MR. KIRBY: No, no.

Q: Why not?

MR. KIRBY: I -- I don't have anything additionally to say about this today and -- and you know we're -- it's not the kind of thing that we would -- that we would speak to. Again, hypothetically unless or until there was an agreement between the two governments and I just don't -- I don't know that taking the question would be very helpful for you today.

Q: All right. Thank you.

MR. KIRBY: You're welcome. Abraham.

Q: Yes, thank you, John. Last week some legislation was a bill was introduced that would help burn victims by adding sort of a presumption of exposure. I wondered if –

MR. KIRBY: Burn pit victims.

Q: Burn pit victims, right. So I wondered if Secretary Austin has worked with the VA secretary on making any progress of studies or designation that would -- that would help some of those veterans who are still suffering to get the right type of treatment and testing?

And also separately, you mentioned that the secretary is going to stop at INDOPACOM coming up. Do you have any update for us on the China task force and this would be his second visit to INDOPACOM, what -- what more would he be trying to achieve there. Thank you.

So look on the burn pit issue, I don't have any specific programs or reviews to speak to today. It is something that he has discussed with Secretary McDonough, both leaders take this very seriously and want to do whatever we can to make sure that those veterans who have been and are and sadly will be effected by exposure to burn pit residue and -- and fumes and chemicals are properly treated and looked after.

So we've -- that's a sacred obligation that he shares with Secretary McDonough. But I don't have anything specific to speak to about that today.

On INDOPACOM, the primary reason that he's visiting INDOPACOM this week is for the change of command. It is not at all uncommon for the Secretary of Defense to attend and preside over the change of command of combatant commanders, and that's what's driving the timing of this particular visit.

Now while there, he is certainly going to continue to talk to both Admiral Davidson, who he's already met with and been briefed by, but also the incoming INDOPACOM commander, he'll have some private time with Admiral Aquilino as well to get his perspectives on the region and how he views the job ahead of him, because that region is so important to our national security interest and he certainly has prioritized that part of the world.

So this is another opportunity for him to continue to gain perspectives from military leaders, but also to convey some of his views going forward as well.

Q: Has he received any briefings from that China Task Force...

(CROSSTALK)

MR. KIRBY: Oh I'm sorry, you did ask about the China Task Force. He's been kept apprised of the China Task Force, their work. I think I mentioned it the other day when the Senior Leaders Conference was going on, Friday, that Dr. Ratner had a chance to provide some initial thoughts by the China Task Force to all the military leaders that were in attendance, which included the -- all the service chiefs, service secretaries, and of course the combatant commanders.

Q: Anything specific you could share with us?

MR. KIRBY: No, the work is ongoing and should wrap up probably in June, and I'm not going to get ahead of the work that they're doing or what findings they might have. It's important to remember that this effort is really about helping align the department to better address and better deal with the security challenges that are posed by the PRC, and they're going to be taking a holistic view of that within the department, it is a departmental task force, to be able to provide the secretary their best advice and counsel about programs, policies, capabilities, operational concepts that perhaps we need to improve upon to continue to deal with the pacing challenge that the PRC represents.

Q: One more -- just a quick follow-up, on the burn pit thing, is there anything the secretary has the power to do now that can help veterans...

(CROSSTALK)

MR. KIRBY: Abraham, that's a hypothetical that I'm just not equipped to deal with today, so I can't answer that question for you today. I'll take the question, but Abraham -- I'll take the question, all I can tell you is that they're both in agreement that this is a serious issue, they both want to make sure that our veterans get the care that they need. So whether it's -- and not just veterans, if there's active duty members that are suffering from the aftereffects. I mean, they're lashed up on the need to make sure they take this seriously, but I don't have anything -- I don't have any announcements to make today, I don't have any specific policies or medical programs to speak to today, but just rest assured that it's an issue they're both taking very seriously.

Q: Thank you, John.

MR. KIRBY: Yes. Lara from Politico?

Q: Hey John, thanks for doing this. I wanted to ask you about Turkey. I'm wondering whether the announcement about the Armenian genocide I think over the weekend has impacted our military relationship with Turkey or our defense relationship?

MR. KIRBY: No, we don't anticipate any change in the military relationship with Turkey. Turkey's a NATO ally and an important one at that, and we continue to have across multiple domains and multiple issues opportunities to continue to work at that relationship and improve that relationship and we don't anticipate this announcement by the president over the weekend to effect it anyway at all.

Q: There was some reporting earlier today about Turkey, saying it was going to get out of one of your key defense pacts. So I'm wondering about that specifically and then also whether anything is going to change in Syria.

MR. KIRBY: I haven't seen that reporting of them saying they want to get out of a defense pact. So you'd have to give me some more information so I could run that down for you. But I'm not tracking towards any kind of an announcement by them in that regard.

And I don't, again, anticipate a change in what we're doing in Syria as a result of this announcement by the president. I think it's important to remember that our goal in Syria, our mission in Syria, though small in footprint is still centered around the fight against with ISIS and working with Syrian Democratic forces on the ground there to continue to prosecute the war against ISIS, and I see no change to that mission as a result of this week ends announcement. Sylvie?

Q: I would like to ask a question about Somalia. The government forces have lost control of part of the capital in Mogadishu today. So I wanted to know if first you intend to give the government some military aid? And second, what does it say about the strategy to fight against the enemy of the government from outside the country?

MR. KIRBY: I mean some of those questions are better put to the State Department, Sylvia -- Sylvie, sorry. Our focus in Somalia continues to be working against the violent extremist organizations that remain a threat to Somalia in the region, particularly Al-Shabaab.

And that means, you know, being willing to continue to partner with local forces as they develop their defensive capabilities and -- and to try to create the proper opportunities to continue to prosecute against this threat. That's our focus on there. I'm not aware of any -- any military role here in the political circumstances that are going on in Somalia right now.

And again, I'd refer you to the State Department for more one that.

Q: But in Mogadishu it's not political in circumstances, it’s forces -- it's forces from the (inaudible), it's not --

MR. KIRBY: All I can speak to is our mission Somalia, which is to partner with local forces against groups like Al-Shabaab. I know of no U.S. military role in the development that you're speaking to today. OK.

Q: Do you offer any more details on why the U.S. military entrusted this group global resource systems was management of 175 million I.P. addresses -- DOD I.P. addresses?

MR. KIRBY: What I can tell you, Nancy, is that the Defense Digital Service authorized a pilot effort advertising DOD internet protocol space using the border gateway protocol. The pilot is designed to assess, evaluate, and prevent unauthorized use of DOD I.P. address space.

The pilot may also help us identify potential vulnerabilities in that space. This is just one of many efforts that we're focused on continuing to improve our cyber posture and defense and response to advanced persistent threats, we're partnering throughout the DOD to ensure that the potential vulnerabilities are mitigated. I am not at liberty to go beyond that.

Q: Can I ask you this then; one -- if you -- if this about defenses, it seems to me given the amount of real estate, internet real estate that we're talking about, that this warranted some sort of public announcement before and even without the details of it if you were to move a carrier strike group or a division of -- of soldiers you would expect some sort of public acknowledgment of it.

Given the scope and scale of this, why was it never discussed even broadly in any kind of public way?

MR. KIRBY: I'm really not going to go into any greater detail than I've been able to go so far, Nancy. I appreciate your question but -- I mean I -- I think I've spoken on this as much as I'm able to today. This is about protecting vulnerabilities in cyberspace.

Q: Can I ask then given the size and scope and the number of I.P. addresses that were used. If you would take the question in terms of why so many I.P. addresses, what precisely they were targeting or any more additional information because I think a lot of people have questions about it, the way it came on.

And I think it would be only fair, I think, for DOD to provide details from somebody in that office about what it was hoping to achieve, whether it's done it before, what the success rate was, any sort of details on it.

MR. KIRBY: I'm -- I'm just afraid we're not going to be able to provide more detail on this right now. I will take the question but I just think we've -- we've spoken to the issue as much as we're going to right now.

And I -- again, as I said, it's about making sure that we're able to prevent unauthorized use of the space and to continue to improve our cyber posture. It's the responsible thing to do.

Q: And can you provide any detail on who the top line of contact was between Global Systems and DOD?

MR. KIRBY: I cannot. I cannot. I cannot. OK. Let's see, Joe Tabet.

Q: Yes, thank you, John. I'm wondering if you have anything to share with us about the Israeli delegation who's visiting Washington D.C. I guess it's supposed to meet with Secretary Austin?

MR. KIRBY: No, there's no meeting today or this week between the Secretary and Israeli delegation. As I understand it, some -- some staff members from the Israeli Defense Force are here to meet with their counterparts in the building but it won't include Secretary Austin.

Q: Just to follow-up on the same topic, what's The Pentagon's concerns in regards to the ongoing tensions between Israel and Iran? I mean does the DOD feel any miscalculation that can lead to a confrontation?

MR. KIRBY: I mean just, you know, without getting into specifics here and I'm not going to speak for other militaries and what they are or they are not engaged in. I mean obviously we have a vested interest in making sure that our national security interest in the region are secured and protected and defended.

And that includes the kinds of threats that Iran continues to demonstrate in the region. Whether that's in a maritime environment or support for terrorist networks or of course they're continually advancing ballistic missile program. And that's what we're focused on and that's what the secretary is focused on is making sure that we can protect our national security interests in the region.

I won't speak for their militaries or again, operations that they're conducting one way or the other. OK. In the room, yes, sir.

Q: I want to ask you about Taiwan, that this month the U.S. President Biden had the Japanese prime minister to agree to work together to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Is the Pentagon going to encourage other allies and partners in the region, such as Australia or the Philippines, to join this U.S./Japan led efforts to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait?

MR. KIRBY: What we're after here is no unilateral change to the status quo. Nothing's changed about our One-China policy informed by the three Communiques, the six assurances, and, of course, the Taiwan Relations Act. Nobody wants to see that status quo changed unilaterally.

Certainly, nobody wants to see this come to conflict. What we're trying to do and I think what the Secretary certainly was focused on when we went to the region a month or so ago was to explore new ways in which we can improve our bilateral security relationship with Japan and with South Korea but also to explore trilateral opportunities between us, Japan, and South Korea, along a range of capabilities and a range of issues.

And I think he came away from that trip feeling optimistic that there were opportunities to do that. The -- that both Japan South Korea were willing to continue to explore that and we'll see where it goes.

Let's see. Alex Ward from Vox?

Q: Hey, John. Happy Monday. Excuse the little wind-up here.

So the U.S. through an FMS process provides maintenance to the Saudis. And that's leading -- at least -- the Pentagon's argument, they're saying, we do not provide any support for offensive operations. That's the policy. But, of course, there are critics who are saying, well, even if it's through an FMS process and it's indirect, that is still the U.S. providing offensive support.

Can you explain why it shouldn't be considered offensive support to provide maintenance for Saudi for Saudi aircrafts?

MR. KIRBY: The support that we provide to Saudi Arabia is designed to support their self-defense and this is a country that's under attack almost every day. And so what we've -- what the president has decided is that we're -- that the support we're giving them will be primarily for their self-defense and not to further permit or participate in the Saudi-led coalition offensive operations inside Yemen.

I understand where the question's going, that maintenance support for systems, systems that could be used for both purposes -- I understand that. I'm not going to get into a bunch of hypotheticals or, you know, what about on this. The president's been clear and we have a military-to-military relationship with Saudi Arabia that is important to the region and to our interests. And we have a commitment to help them defend themselves against what are real threats and that's what the -- that's what the focus is on.

Okay. In the room, Oren.

Q: Thank you. Any DOD personnel joining -- going to India to help out with the equipment there? Any consideration of sending personnel with the equipment?

MR. KIRBY: We're still working our way through the kind of support that we're going to give to India, Oren. Right now it's not a discussion about people so much as it is about material, whether it's PPE, oxygen, generators, and other equipment that can help their front-line workers continue to address this impact. But that's where the focus is right now.

Mike?

Q: Can you just confirm the latest status of the recommendations from the Pentagon Review Committee or Review Commission, and whether -- the secretary is giving these recommendations like a serious consideration or what's the status of that?

MR. KIRBY: You're talking about the Independent Review Commission and the initial set of recommendations on the accountability line of effort. He just received them last week. And he is looking them over. He's grateful for the great effort that they put into creating these. I would stress that these are only initial recommendations in that one line of effort. And as I said last week, there could be additional inside the accountability line of effort.

But he has only just received them. He's studying them and reviewing them. He has also asked that the services take some time, about a month, to take a look and offer him their candid views and feedback about those recommendations as well.

Q: OK. Also can you -- follow up, can you confirm these reports that the head of the Army CID has been fired?

MR. KIRBY: I can assure you that she has not been fired. General Martin is still in her -- in the job. I don't have any personnel announcements to make at this time. But I can certainly put the rest that the rumors I have seen today that she is, you know, being terminated in the job, that is not true.

Q: Well, what about she is being transferred? She has only been in the job for about a year, which is a little -- which is a little -- would be a little short for any commander...

(CROSSTALK)

MR. KIRBY: No, I understand that. I mean, again, there is no personnel announcements to make at this time. So I don't want to get ahead of the Army on this. And I would certainly direct you to the Army for more information. But I can tell you definitively, she is not being terminated or fired. And she still the provost marshal, I think that's what they call it. We need a title here.

STAFF: I've got it.

MR. KIRBY: Hm?

STAFF: It's provost marshal.

MR. KIRBY: Provost Marshal General of the Army.

Q: The T is silent.

MR. KIRBY: What's that?

(CROSSTALK)

Q: The T is silent.

MR. KIRBY: It is. OK. Thank you for -- thank you for that.

(Laughter.)

MR. KIRBY: No, actually, I appreciate that, because that's not a title I'm used to saying. But she's still in that...

(CROSSTALK)

MR. KIRBY: ... job. She has not been terminated or fired. I don't have any announcements to make. And, again, I'd refer -- for anything beyond that, I'd point you to the Army. Thanks for the opportunity to clear that up.

Yes, Mosheh.

Q: Could you give us an update -- is there an update on the situation in Chad? Has the secretary spoken with his counterparts there?

MR. KIRBY: I'm sorry, about with who?

Q: With Chad? Is there a situational update -- sorry, an update on the situation in Chad?

MR. KIRBY: I don't have an update on Chad today, Mosheh. You know, fair question, we'll take that, see if we can help get you something. But I can tell you, he -- I have no conversations that the secretary has made in recent days regarding Chad.

OK. Nancy.

Q: One question, AP is reporting that the U.S. is looking to provide raw materials for the production of AstraZeneca to India. Is the DoD looking at providing supplies strictly related to oxygen -- oxygen-related supplies or is there anything that would be used for vaccine production?

MR. KIRBY: What we're looking at mostly is, as I said, oxygen-related equipment, rapid-testing kits, personal protective equipment, and other essential materials. We're also going to be coordinating with India directly about any other frontline medical needs that they might have.

But I'm not -- I don't believe that the raw materials issue is coming out of -- in fact, I know it's not coming out of DoD. We aren't involved in the AstraZeneca vaccine. We're not using that. So those raw materials wouldn't be coming from us. But, Nancy, it's entirely within the realm of the possible that we will be, as I said, helping with the transportation of those materials, and as well as the materials and equipment that we'll be providing from our own stocks. We fully anticipate being involved in the logistics and the movement of it the over to India.

Does that answer your question?

Q: I think so. I mean, if there's anything you think (INAUDIBLE)...

MR. KIRBY: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

Q: ... just want to get a sense of what's from DoD versus other government agencies...

(CROSSTALK)

MR. KIRBY: I don't -- right now I don't see a role for us in the AstraZeneca vaccine production part of it because we aren't...

(CROSSTALK)

MR. KIRBY: The raw materials, right, because we're not -- we're not using the AstraZeneca for our purposes. We use Pfizer and Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

But I fully would anticipate that we would be willing and able to assist in the transport of those materials as needed. OK?

Let's see, Jeff from Task & Purpose?

Q: Thank you very much. When you were responding about the provost marshal story, I didn't hear you say anything that indicated the Defense One story is wrong. So this person is currently in her job and she has no -- and you have no personnel announcements to make today, is that accurate?

MR. KIRBY: That's accurate, Jeff.

Q: So, I'm just checking, you're not refuting the story, are you?

MR. KIRBY: I wasn't trying to refute anything, Jeff. I was answering a question by Mike who asked me whether she had been fired. And I said she hadn't been. She was still on the job. And that there are no personnel announcements to speak to today. And, again, this would really be for the Army to talk to, not me.

Q: OK. One last question. An Army major was reportedly drugged and bitten by strippers in Poland, will that affect the U.S. military's footprint in that country?

(Laughter.)

Q: It is a major story. And it happened in Gdansk.

MR. KIRBY: Jeff, I don't know anything about that story. I'll have a look at it. I am not going to take that question. But...

(Laughter.)

Q: Please take that question.

MR. KIRBY: Jeff, no -- no, Jeff, just let me state clearly that we have a -- a strong military relationship with Poland, and we expect to see that continue to grow and to improve. But I don't know anything about this particular item.

And I'm afraid I'm going to have to go. I do have a hard stop here at 4:00. So I'm afraid I'm going to have to call it there. But thank you very much. Appreciate it.

(CROSSTALK)

MR. KIRBY: I could tell. And I could tell he was serious about it.

(CROSSTALK)

MR. KIRBY: Yes, I'll go take a look at it.