Readout of Secretary Carter’s Meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates met today in Abu Dhabi to discuss a range of regional issues. The meeting at the Emirates Palace took place on the heels of the secretary’s visits to both Turkey and Iraq.
Secretary Carter and the crown prince began the meeting with a discussion of the campaign against the Islamic State and the battle for Mosul. The conversation then turned to U.S.-UAE cooperation on countering terrorism and defending freedom of navigation around the Arabian Peninsula.
Both parties emphasized the importance of the U.S.-UAE strategic partnership and reiterated the shared commitment to ensuring a stable and secure Middle East. ‎With both noting the already strong bilateral security cooperation, Secretary Carter and the crown prince agreed to deepen defense ties going forward.
Release No: NR-378-16
Oct. 24, 2016

FALLEN HEROES – Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan, 34

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a sailor who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan, 34, of Anaheim, California, died Oct. 20 in northern Iraq, of wounds sustained in an improvised explosive device blast.

He was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Three.

Release No: NR-376-16
Oct. 21, 2016

Navy to Commission Littoral Combat Ship Detroit

The Navy will commission its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship, Detroit (LCS 7), during an11 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, Oct. 22 on Detroit’s waterfront.

Detroit is the sixth U.S. ship in our nation’s history to be named in honor of city of Detroit.

Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Barbara Levin, wife of former U.S. Senator Carl Levin, serves as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”

“This ship represents so much. It represents the city of Detroit, the motor city. It represents the highly-skilled American workers of our nation’s industrial base, the men and women who built this great warship; and it represents the American spirit of hard work, patriotism and perseverance,” said the Honorable Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy. “The USS Detroit will carry these values around the world for decades to come as the newest ship in our nation’s growing fleet.”

The first USS Detroit was a British sloop of war captured by the U.S. Navy during the War of 1812. The screw sloop of war Canandaigua was renamed Detroit for a brief time in 1869, but returned to her original name that year. A turn of the century cruiser served for nearly 15 years. In 1923, another cruiser was commissioned and served throughout World War II, earning six battle stars. The most recent ship named Detroit was a fast combat support ship that served from 1969 to 2005.

USS Detroit is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS 1). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

Each LCS seaframe will be outfitted with a single mission package made up of mission modules containing warfighting systems and support equipment. A dedicated ship crew will combine with aviation assets to deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare or surface warfare missions.

Release No: NR-377-16
Oct. 21, 2016

Readout of Secretary Carter’s Meetings with Turkish Leaders in Ankara

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, and Minister of National Defense Fikri Işık for meetings today in Ankara. The secretary also toured the Turkish Parliament building where he saw damage from the recent coup attempt and expressed his condolences to all those who lost their lives defending Turkey’s democratically-elected government. During the productive talks, the secretary reaffirmed his support for the long-term, strategic alliance between the United States and Turkey and vowed the United States would continue to stand side-by-side with our NATO ally against shared threats. Secretary Carter thanked the president for Turkey’s resolve in the fight against terrorism and Turkey’s critical support for the counter-ISIL campaign in Syria and Iraq. The secretary and president discussed recent successes against ISIL in Operation Euphrates Shield, and Secretary Carter congratulated President Erdoğan on the critical role Turkey played in the recent seizure of Dabiq by Syrian opposition forces.  Also discussed was the need to solidify and consolidate gains in Operation Euphrates Shield, to include increasing military cooperation and enhancing civilian and humanitarian work. Both sides agreed to maintain frequent communication on the full range of mutual interests, including close coordination and continued transparency in the coalition effort to deal ISIL a lasting defeat.
Release No: NR-375-16
Oct. 21, 2016

FALLEN HEROES – Sgt. Douglas J. Riney, 26, Michael G. Sauro, 40

The Department of Defense announced today the death of one soldier and one Department of Army civilian employee who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Sgt. Douglas J. Riney, 26, of Fairview, Illinois, and Michael G. Sauro, 40, of McAlester, Oklahoma, died Oct. 19 in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds received from encountering hostile enemy forces.

Riney was assigned to the Support Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Sauro was assigned to the Defense Ammunition Center, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, McAlester, Oklahoma.

Release No: NR-374-16
Oct. 20, 2016

DOD partners with HackerOne and Synack on “Hack the Pentagon” Follow-up Security Initiative

The Department of Defense announced today that it has awarded a contract to HackerOne and Synack to create a new contract vehicle for DOD components and the services to easily launch their own ‘bug bounty’ challenges, similar to Hack the Pentagon, with the ultimate objective  to normalize the crowd-sourced approach to digital defenses.

At Secretary Carter’s direction, DOD hosted the first bug bounty program in the federal government last spring, and is prepared to launch a second, two-pronged effort in partnership with HackerOne and Synack.  Initiatives like bug bounties are designed to identify and resolve security vulnerabilities within DOD websites.

The original Hack the Pentagon program was lead by the Defense Digital Service, a team created by Secretary Carter last November to bring in private sector talent and best practices to transform the way DOD approaches technology.

The DDS contracted with reputable bug bounty platform, HackerOne, for the pilot effort which allowed over 1,400 registered hackers to test the defenses of select DOD websites. The reported security gaps that qualified as a valid vulnerability were then rewarded with its corresponding bounty price.

As a result of this pilot, 138 unique and previously undisclosed vulnerabilities were identified by security researchers and remediated in near real-time by the Defense Media Activity.

Following the success of Hack the Pentagon, Secretary Carter recognized the value of the program and directed other DOD components and military services to utilize the bug bounty concept as a “valuable tool in their own security toolkit.”

This contract vehicle for a crowd-sourced security solution can also serve as a road map for other departments and agencies across the federal government to adopt and implement as well.

The DDS will work with DOD components and external government agencies in a consultative role to advise on the execution of future programs.

Release No: NR-373-16
Oct. 20, 2016

Secretary Carter presents DoD public service award to Homeland Security Secretary Johnson

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter today honored Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson with the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award, the department’s highest civilian honor.

Carter presented the award to Johnson, formerly the Pentagon’s top legal official, during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security headquarters where Johnson was hosting a meeting of senior DHS leaders.

“Jeh is one of the finest, most capable, hardest working public servants I have worked with,” Carter said, “From his time as a highly capable general counsel at the Pentagon to his leadership of DHS at a time of enormous homeland security challenges, Jeh has made every organization he’s joined stronger, and made our nation and our world safer.”

The Distinguished Public Service Award is the department’s highest honor for private citizens and non-career public servants. This year, Carter has presented the award to a bipartisan list of distinguished current and former officials, including former secretaries of state Madeline Albright and Henry Kissinger; former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft; and former Sen. John Warner.

“Like Jeh, each of the public servants we have honored this year has a long record of service marked by competence, wisdom and self-sacrifice,” Carter said. “Each of them embodies the very best our nation has to offer.”

As DHS secretary, Johnson leads the federal government’s third-largest department, with 22 components ranging from the U.S. Coast Guard and immigration, customs and border enforcement agencies to the Secret Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Before joining DHS in 2013, Johnson served for three years as general counsel to the Department of Defense, the department’s senior legal official. At DoD, he played a key role in several important initiatives, including the nation’s counter-terrorism efforts and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He served from 1998 to 2001 as general counsel to the Air Force, and from 1989 to 1991 as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. A native New Yorker, he worked in the private sector as an attorney at the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison.

Release No: NR-372-16
Oct. 19, 2016