tv Pentagon Press Secretary Holds Briefing CSPAN March 16, 2023 7:30pm-8:01pm EDT
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>> goodfternoon, everybody. just a f things to pass along here, and then we will get right to your questions. today, secretary austen is directin multiple immediate actions following the suicide prevention and response independent review committee's recommendations and establishing a suicide prevention implementation working group. the department continues to recognize the importance of addressi and preventing suicide within the military ranks. immediat actions to be taken stemming from the committee's recommendations focuon improving access to mental health care through initiatives such as expediting hiring for havioral health professionals, expanding opportunities to treat common mtal health conditions and primary care, and improve utilization of behavioral heth technicians. these actions aimedo strengthen the well-being and support available to ouservice members worldwide. notably, sectary austen has also directed the working group give full consideration to
all of the other recommendation provided by the suicide prevention and response independent reew committee and the implementation working group will provide their own subsequent recommendations on the feasibility and impact of each of the implementation -- in an implementation pn, duto the secretary by june 2. while we recognize icide has no single cause and that no single preventative action, treatment, or cure will illuminate it was side altogether, we will exhaust every effort to promote the wellness, health, and morale of our total force, be there for one another, and save lives. additional information about dod's suici prevention implementation working group and secretary often -- austin's plan is on the website. achievof the national guard bureau daniel hawkinson visited centcom this week to formalize the ariza national state guard program relationship with the sultanate of oman.
general hogans and wasoined by arizona governor katie hobbs, ambassador leslie so, arizona tional guard general carrie mueller back, and a delegation of guardsmen for a signing ceremony in oman. the partnership program celebrates its 30th anniversary this summer, has grown to 88 partnerships with 100 nations. engament between stas and international partners improve readiness and interoperable ability and contributeo security around the world. for more information about this partnership or the state partnership progm, i encourage you to reachut to the national guard bureau. in order to meet u.s. army and europe and africa mission requirements, improve command and control capabilities and mage forward operating sites within the republic of poland, the u.s. army will establish the u.s. army garrison poland in march 2023. the garrison is one of the enduri improvements to the dod posture based on assessments
from the 2021 global posture review and consultations with nato allies and announced by president biden in june of 2022. joining thexisting seven installation management command europe garrison, europe rrison poland will deliver qualityase operations support, frastructure and services to soldiers and civilians to enable u.s. arm africa, europe readiness. the unit will be comprised of team military personnel and 140 civilian personnel. installation management look forward to theontinued strengthening of the bond between our military communi and the host tion communities of poland at the local, regional, and national levels of the alliance. for additional questions, i refer you to the u.s. army. finally, secretary millie and -- secretary austin and general millie -- this showed the continued commitment tt is indicative of
the song unity and resolve of the international communi's support of ukraine and their fight to defend themselves and their sovereignty from russian aggression as secretary austin and other u.s. leaders have said we will ntinue to support ukraine for as long as it takes. with that i will take your qutions. first, ap. >> thank you for doing this. i was hoping you could talk a little bit more about why the pentagon decided toeclassify the video of the dro and whether or not releasing it increased the risk of russia framing this contract -- conflict, instead of being a conflict between russia and ukraine, but between russia and the west? brig. gen. ryder: first of all, it is not unusual for us to release imery of unsafe, unprofessional incidents. we have done that in other situations. particularly ithis case, given the reckless and dangerous behaviorto demonstrate publicly what type of actions
the russians had taken, we felt it w important to provide this imagery. certainly there ar certain considerations whave to take into account when dealing with imagery to include the classification, to ensure we are not inadvertently putting out sensitive information. this case, we were able to work through that and ovide that. as far as ssian perceptions, again, it's portant to take a step back and look at the big picture here. the region with ukraine is solely on providing ukraine with the support it needs to defend itself. you have heard us say before that ukraine has a rht to defend itself, and we have the right to help them alongside the international community to do that. e united states does not seek colict with russia, we do not seek escalation with russia. we will contin to stay focused on our primary mission in the ukraine area which is supporting ukraine in its fight. >> declassified the video and releasing it, rsia has
suggested it did not show the actual contact. how does this release counter that narrative and shows it happened the way t pentagon said it had? brig. gen. ryder: i think our words and tions speak for themselves. similarly, russia's inaccurate, false information, up the station, grasping at straws, also speaks for itself. we will speak to the facts and stay focused on the msion. nextuestion. liz? >> first part of my questions are, did the u.s. ask for an apology from russia on taking down the drone? did russia offern apology? brig. gen. ryder: no, did not ask for an apology. our focus was on the highlighting the fact, as we made clear, publicly and prately, that the united stat will continue to fly and operate in international airspace, inccordance with international law. >> my second part is, it has
come out that russian official ordered the pot is be aggressive ward the drone. today, the centcom commander told the sene armed services committee that he has seen increased russian aggression in the middle east. is this something the u.s. is concernedbout? does t u.s. have any promises that russia will decrea its aggression? brig. gen. ryd: what i would tellou is, again, our focus is on conducting our operations in support our national security interests, our allies and partrs around the world. ultimately, the russian military and ruian government is responsible for their own behavior. en that behavior is unfe and unprofessional, we will call it out, as we have done in this case. that will continueo be our focus. you heard secretary austin, general hecker and others call on the russians to be safe and professional in conductingheir operations. that would be the expectation going forwd. will.
>> secretary austin said the u.s. conties to fly wherever international law allows. in light of that, has e u.s. operated over the black sea since the collision and crash? brig. gen. ryder: i wil not get into talking about specific missions, routes, timelines of operations. i think secretary austin was clear, we are going to continue to fly and operate in international airspace, where international law allows it, including the black sea region travis. >> thanks. couple questions about the suicide working group. i think i heard you say that the secretary immediately implementing some of the recommendations, and the working group is looking at the other recommendations. i wanted to confirm whether the recommendation for new restrictions on the purchase and storage of personal firearms on base is included in the first tranche, or if the working group is still considering. brig. gen. ryder: that will be
something the working group wl examine in further detail and come back to the secretary with their assessment and recommendation. >> if i could follow up, on the recommendation that the secretary did decide to implement, why did he choose those specific recommendations? brig. gen. ryder: those recommendations are primarily focused on behavioral and mental health. they are areas where the department already has the authority is necessary to take immediate action. that was the primary driver. of those recommendions, what can we move on right now that will make a difference for our service members? >> thank you, general. two questions. the japanese prime minister met the south korean president today in tokyo, agreed to normalize the bilateral relation. how much do you expect
improvement over the bilateral association will benefit the pentagon to address challenges for the year? brig. gen. ryder: thanks for the question. what i would tell you, we certainly welcome the discussions, athing that will help strengthen our alliance. as you know, japan and south korea are two of our closest allies. we welcome any opportunity for us to strengthen our unity and to work together for a free and open into pacific. >> secondly, there is a growing number of north korean missile launches including them on that includes an icbm that they launched yesterday. are you concerned that this high frequey of the missile launches will be the new normal that we have to live witfor a while? brig. gen. ryder: again, i think the overarching important aspect
of all of this is that the u.s., along with south korea, japan, other allies and partners in the region will continue to work together to ensure stability and security in the indo-pacific region to include the destabilizing activities of north korea. we will keep a close eye on that. at the end of the day, we all want to see a region that is stable that is secure, that is safe. that will be our focus. north korea clearly is concerning in that regard, but something we will continue to work on together, to determine potential aggression. let me go to chris and then we wi come back. >> yesterday, chairman millie said the u.s. was confident no sensitive material was compromised in the drone incident. what does that mean? was the drone remotely wiped? was there a self-destruct
mechanism, was it crashed in a way that it would obliterate any material? brig. gen. ryder: a couple things. first of all, we do have indications -- i think using reporting on this -- that russia is likely making an effort to try and recover mq-9 debris. as you point out, as general milley highlighted, we assess it is very unlikely that they would be able to recover anything useful given a couple of faors. i will not go into details, but we took steps to protect information aboard the aircraft. and two, the fact that it crashed in extremely deep wer, so i would just leave it at that. >> does the u.s. view the mq-9 as a particularly sensitive platform? brig. gen. ryd: the key part is that it is u.s. property, and intelligence surveillance recoaissance asset. we have capabilities and means
at our disposal to protect and safeguard information of which we have taken. i will leave it there. let me go here and then i will come back. right in front of you. thank you. we are a month and a half out from the new briefing room. >> yesterday, general milley stated russia is increasingly relying on other countries such as iran and north korea. is north kea still supplying munitions to russia? have we seen anything? brig. gen. ryder: i don't have any updates to provide other than we do know, as you highlight, russia continues to seek munitions from countries like north korea. i don't have any new updates to add in terms of any specific transactions. >> seek, look for or actually applying? brig. gen. ryder: we talked
before about evidence of the wegner group obtaining some munitions from north korea. we know that russia is seeking additional ammunition from north korea and iran, but i don't have any details to provide today. >> my second one is is china getting closer to sending legal aid to russia, have you seeany final decisions, evidence of actual shipment? brig. gen. ryder: at this time, we have not seen the transfer yet of any legal assistance from china to russia for use on the battlefield. it is something we are keeping a close eye on. i know there are some press reports talking about some trade deals. that in and of itself is not unusual. china and russia share a trade relationsh. the key point, as of right now, we have not seen any legal assistance transferring from china to russia for use on the battlefield in ukraine. >> are they still sending
imagery, things that can help the wagoner group or russia? brig. gen. ryder: i don't have anything on that. back to the middle. this gentleman has been very patient. >> thank y. today, the senate votes to vote on the repeal of the authorization for using foe against iraq. to what extent do you agree with this congress members who are supporng to end this act, and how does this act affect your capability to face and respond to threats that come from isis and also the other terrorist groups in the future, to your forces in aq, partners in iraq? brig. gen. ryder: what i would say right now is i don't want t get into a discussion or comment on pending, potential legislation. other than to say, as always, we will look -- work closely with the congress to make sure we
conduct our operations in accordance with law. >> there are concerns that this act will be amended in congress. there are some members of congress who say this will affect the u.s. capability to face rats that come from iran. that is why they are not supporting to end this act for now. brig. gen. ryder: i appreciate the question but we will allow the congress to do i work. it would be inappropriate for me to engage in the legislative debate. of course, the department will stay in close contact with the congress, as one would expect. we will continue to be a part of those discussions. >> general, i have one and then a separate topic. on the drone issue, you say the russians are making efforts to recover the mq-9. ruians initially aggressively moved over a u.s. capability and downed it and are now making
efforts to recover. what we hear from this department is quite a soft expression of concern. we have not heard you condemn the russians. just saying that it is unsafe, unprofessional. what are we missing here? brig. gen. ryder: i am not sure what your estion is. we were pretty vocal that the conduct of the pilots were unsafe and operational, reckless, dangerous. secretary austin spoke to his counterpart. general milley spoke to his counterpart. i highlighted at the top that oufocus is on conducting our missions in the region in international airspace. we are focused on protecting and defending the nato alliance and also on supporting ukraine -- i will let you put wordso it. we have highlighted that it is
an onyx of the bull act. if you are looking for hyperbole, i believe that to you. >> separate question. toy, a mysterious helicopter crashein northern iraq. it was carrying pkk elements. does the u.s. provide helicopter pilots and training to partners in syria or not? brig. gen. ryder: not to my knowledge, no. we do not. thank you. >> thank y, general. just want to follow-up on the drone issue incident. first question, yesterday, the last assessment we heard, it is not clear whether this collision was intentional or not. do you have an update on this assessment, whether the russians did this on purpose? the second question is, the
indications that the russians may be trying to recover some of the debr. you talked about deepwater in the black sea. are you ruling out may be the russians being able to use some technology or divers to recover the debris? brig. gen. ryder: the latter part of your question, i don't want to speculate. again, this is u.s. property, but it is our assessment, again, that it is highly unlikely, even if they were to recover it, that there would be anything useful in that regard. in terms of was this intentional? i will tell you what we know and at we don't know. we know this aggressive behavior was intentional on the part of the pilots. whether or not they hit the ground on purpose, we don't ow. but it clearly demonstrates either poor airman ship or
reckless behavior. from an airman standpoint, why would you hit another aircraft when you are in an aircraft in the sky? reckless, dangerous, unsafe, unprofessional behavior,hich is why again we have called on the russians to conduct their operations safely and professionally. thank you. back here. we will go here and then here. >> two questions. senator mitt romney and jeanne shaheen introduced a bipartisan legislation that would direct the administration to develop a strategy over the black sea region. do you believe that there is a strategy that needs to be developed, or be more specific? brig. gen. ryder: thank you for the question. we would need to take a look at that, i don't have that in front of us.
clearly we have a force presence around the world, taking into account the national defense strategy, why we are operating, where we are operating. i can tell you that when it comes to the black sea, it is a critical international seawa that supports many of our nato allies, and so we will continue to operate over that area for the reasons i highlighted in support of our nato alliance, and also as we conduct isr operations as part of our national security interest. thank you. military officials are saying that they see ssia increasing its marine pleasant the black sea -- presence in the black sea. what is your reaction, does it need t be there in a higher up tempo well? brig. gen. ryder: i don't have a comment on that. it is not surprising that russia maintains a presence in the black sea. i don't havany specific comment to provide on ukrain's assessment.
let me go joe. >> at them splitting -- risk of splitting hairs on the amus question, what is the secrary's position on aumf repeal? as a secretary been asked to weigh in on capito hill, what is his position onepeal? brig. gen. ryder: without getting into the pending legislation, the secretary is rtainly supportive of any discussions congressould have on the aumf. >> thank you so much, general. a question on noh korea. the u.s. and the rok conducts military exercises a nor korea reacted harshly and launched an icbm yesterday. what do you think about the security corporation, how can you work to get on their provocations? brig. gen. ryder: let me make sure i understand. you were asking, in light of
north korea's provocations, how n japan, south korea, u.s. allian exercises work? >> north korea reacts to the u.s.-rok military exercise. how can security corporations work with north korea? brig. gen. ryder: again, it is important to take a step bac here. th ercises that the united statesonducts with japan and south korea areefensive in nature and meant to bolster our interoperability, meant to deter potentiaaggression in the region. that is first and foremost. in terms of north korea's reactions to these types of exercises, as you heard me say fore, not only is it inappropriate, it is destabilizing, and concerning clearly to those in the region.
what is important for people t understand, one, deterrents continue to work. despite launching missiles into the ocean, north korea is not attacking -- nor should they -- and the u.s., japan, south korea, and other allies and partners in the rion will continue to work togetheto extend that deterrence and to keep our countries safe. again, with the ultimate obctive here being a secure, safe, prosperous free and open indo-pacific region. >> back to the mq-9. any indications that the ruians have already picked up debris from the area? brig. gen. ryder: i have seen some press reports to that effect but i cannot corroborate any information whether they ha or have not. >> separately, have allies offered to send units to help with the recovery eorts? brig. gen. ryder: i don't have anything to announce. i would allow the allies to speak for themselves in that
regard. in terms of u.s. recovery operations, as you've heard us say, we are assessing options. i don't have anything further on that at theoment. >> has the u.s. requested to transfer through the not to my knowledge. time for a few more. >> on the wckage, have the u.s. or will the u.s. make any requests of the russians and if they are able to salvage any portions of it that it be returned as a matter of good ith and has there been any recompense given this is a expensive piece of equip meant? brig. gen. ryder: not to my knowledge. >> generalilley yesterday talked about this as a wider pattern of behavior by russia. is there any incident that this other others like it --
couraged by the russian govement? brig. gen. ryder: the short answer is i don't know. as general milley ghlighted, we have seen and uptick in this kind of aggressive behavior. but whether this is a coordinated effort i can't tell you. i can tell you it is unsafe and unprofessional the stakes are high. this is why it is important to keep the lines of communications open to pvent thi miscommunication and we will do our part to continue to fly, sail and operate safety -- safely. >> yesterday, north korea launched intercontinental missiles on each floor at higher than 6000 meters for about 70 minutes.
does the dod think this type of technology? brig. gen. ryder: it is sothing we observe every time north korea has a launch. i'm not going to get into the specifics on their capabilities or talk about our assessment of those capabilities. last question. >> thank you. in recent weeks,epublik and congress members have stepped up criticism at the pentagon about senior officials over thgs like pronoun training. does the secretary of defense have in response to this and are there any plans to address these concerns? br. gen. ryder: i'not going to get into individual politil members and members of congress those running for office are saying. i will give you the perspective
of the department. and the perspective of the departnt is that today's military is the most combat credible, capable force that has ever existed on the planet. every d we have thousands of our military members - around the world conducting operations, important operations i dangerous places doing inedibly important work which speaks for itself. as a 30 year member of the military i can tell you we are very proud of what we do and how we present ourselves and how we defend this nation. i think i speak for a lot of others in that regard. >> thank you, appreciate [captiol cable satellite corp. 2023] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> next, we hear from treasury secretary janet yellen about the state of the u.s. economy and banking system. then, employee related issues in the industry.