Work Travels to Ottawa to Meet With Canadian Officials

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work began a two-day visit to the Canadian capital of Ottawa yesterday to meet with senior Canadian government officials and the Permanent Joint Board on Defense.

In a statement announcing the trip, Pentagon officials said the deputy secretary visited the Canadian Parliament and National Defense headquarters.

He also met with Canadian officials, including Defense Minister Jason Kenney, Associate Defense Minister Julian Fantino, Deputy Defense Minister John Forster, Associate Deputy Defense Minister John Turner, and Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson, officials said.

The leaders discussed global security challenges, including collaboration for ongoing operations in Iraq to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, officials said.

Commending Canada’s Contributions

“Work commended Canada for its contributions, particularly in conducting airstrikes against ISIL targets, ways to address the risks to minority populations in Syria, and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Kurdish forces in Northern Iraq,” the Pentagon statement said. “Additionally, the deputy secretary and Canadian officials discussed the situation in Ukraine, and efforts to provide assistance to Ukraine, as well as NATO reassurance initiatives.”

Regarding Western Hemisphere defense, the statement said, Work and Canadian leaders professed support for the North American Aerospace Defense Command and modernization of the North Warning System.

Anniversary Dinner

The deputy secretary also attended a dinner celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, the most senior bilateral defense forum between the United States and Canada. Established in 1940, the board focuses on policy issues related to continental defense and security, such as asymmetric threats, officials explained.

At the dinner, officials said, Work noted that the bilateral defense cooperation between the United States and Canada remains one of the world's strongest, as demonstrated by operations at NORAD and the work of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense.

Throughout his visit, officials added, Work reaffirmed the Defense Department's commitment to sustaining a strong bilateral relationship with Canada.