Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with Czech Republic’s Minister of Defence Jana Černochová today at the Pentagon to sign the Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) as a demonstration of support for an enhanced U.S.-Czech Republic strategic defense relationship. The DCA will allow our countries to further strengthen our defense ties, enhance NATO operations, advance Transatlantic security, and protect shared interests and values. The two leaders further discussed a broad range of bilateral and regional issues, discussed Ukraine security assistance, and condemned Russia’s brutal war of choice in Ukraine. They also saluted the 30-year anniversary of the Czech Republic’s State Partnership Program with both Texas and Nebraska National Guards.
Secretary Austin commended Minister Černochová for the Czech Republic’s significant and sustained support to Ukraine to include providing critical capabilities. He applauded the Czech Republic for its commitment to strengthening defense and deterrence on NATO’s Eastern Flank, to include its leadership as the Framework Nation in the new NATO battlegroup in Slovakia and its contributions to Air Policing. Secretary Austin and Minister Černochová shared key priorities in advance of the NATO Summit in Vilnius in July. Secretary Austin recognized the Czech Republic’s commitment to defense spending and its ongoing investments in modern, NATO interoperable military equipment.