Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mattis Seeks to Deepen Relations with South American Partners

By Jim Garamone, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said the United States is seeking to deepen relations with hemispheric partners.

The secretary told students at the Brazilian War College in Rio de Janeiro that the United States “will earn your trust daily. We want to be your partner; especially if trouble looms.”

This is Mattis’s first visit to the region as secretary. He told the students that he has deployed many times in his career and he has never been on a battlefield in a solely U.S. formation. The United States seeks allies and looks to increase cooperation among partners.

“Our native languages may be different, but four decades of military service have persuaded me that the profession of arms has a language of its own and a way of turning strangers into family,” Mattis said.

Mattis described his job to the Brazilian officers, saying that he is an advisor to the elected commander in chief. He provides military options to the president, and he provides civilian oversight of the U.S. military.

Working Solutions

“Know what my real job is?” he asked the officers. “My real job is to try to keep the peace for one more year, one more month, one more week, one more day while the diplomats try to work out a solution to very difficult problems.”

He also described the lines of effort in the Defense Department. The first is to increase lethality of the U.S. military.

“I want any adversary to know that they are better off to deal with our secretary of state and our diplomats,” he said. “They do not want to deal with me and my soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.”

Another line of effort is to strengthen and broaden U.S. relationships with allies. “It’s simple: Nations with allies thrive; nations without allies do not survive,” Mattis said.

The reason for his trip to the region is to encourage partnership. The secretary will go to the Indo-Pacific next month and Europe after that, he said. “This is not something you turn on one day, walk in, make a speech, walk out and then forget about it,” he said. “It must be sustained.”

Trust is the currency for these relationships. “When speaking with senior U.S. officers, I tell them they must learn to build harmony,” Mattis said. “If they cannot build trust across national lines, across military lines, joint service lines, civilian-military lines, if they cannot build trust and harmony of operations, then their leadership … is obsolete and they must go home, for I have no use for them.”

Listening to Allies

Mattis said senior leaders must listen to allied leaders and be prepared to take their advice. “The nation with the most aircraft carriers is not always right,” he said.

Senior U.S. military leaders seek a collaborative and secure hemisphere, “one where we individually and collectively maintain situational awareness in all domains,” he said.

Partners must share information with neighbors because hemispheric priorities must be addressed together, the secretary said.

The United States and Brazil are long-time partners. Brazil fought alongside U.S. service members in World War II and continues to serve alongside them today. Mattis is personally committed to making the U.S.-Brazil military-to-military relationship stronger.

“Together we seek to strengthen our cooperative strategic partnership that is transparent, that is trustworthy and that is steady,” he said. “I see a bright future ahead for Brazil and our hemisphere.”

Mattis Thanks Brazilian Officials for Leadership in Defense Cooperation

WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary James N. Mattis met with Brazil’s defense leaders today in Brasilia to reaffirm the defense relationship between the United States and Brazil, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said.

In a statement summarizing the meeting, White said the secretary met with Defense Minister Joaquim Silva e Luna, Adm. Ademir Sobrinho, chief of Brazil’s joint staff, and the Brazilian service chiefs.

“The leaders discussed a broad range of defense issues, and the secretary thanked the group for their country’s global leadership in defense cooperation,” White said.

The leaders agreed to continue to reinforce the U.S.-Brazil strategic partnership, she added, focusing on interoperability, expanding shared capabilities and bolstering the ability to respond rapidly to a variety of security challenges.

Face of Defense: Airman Continues Family’s Commitment to Service

By Air Force Airman 1st Class Mckenzie Airhart, 194th Wing

CAMP MURRAY, Wash. -- After high school, Air Force Staff Sgt. Psalmbrea Noel Doss wanted to move away from Washington state in search of new experiences and a college education.

After a year in North Carolina, Doss knew she wanted to join the military but wanted to be able to stay in the Pacific Northwest. She loved Washington and had a goal of finishing her college degree.

That’s when her mother let her know about the Washington Air National Guard. “I didn’t even know it existed until my mother told me,” Doss said.

Doss’ mother had been a personnel specialist in the Air Force. In fact, Doss was born at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi.

Follows Mother’s Footsteps

Fast forward to March 2015. Not only had Doss returned to Keesler Air Force Base, but she was training to be a personal specialist just like her mother. Doss was pregnant with her first child during training.

Today, she is assigned to the Washington Air National Guard’s 194th Force Support Squadron. As a personnel specialist, Doss supports the wing through force management, career development and customer service.

She provides customer service to members and their families by issuing identification cards, updating files with birth certificates and other important documents. She verifies that members are slotted in the right jobs based on position movements and promotions. She also tracks promotions, reenlistments, awards, and decorations.

Doss said her favorite part of her job is helping airmen. One of her happiest responsibilities was leading a program that made sure the newest wing members were shown where things are located in the wing.

“I was a part of the newcomers’ program for about two years, so that was one of the things I really enjoyed,” said Doss.

She was able to welcome and help acclimate new recruits, newly arrived prior service members and also members transferring from other guard units to the wing, Doss said.

“Just being that face … that first face that they see. I like that part of it,” she said.

Doss said she plans to stay in the Air Guard for more than 20 years.

“I definitely want to make chief one day,” she said.

When it comes to her civilian life, Doss said her goal is to get a master’s degree in English education, so that she can become a professor.

In her free time, Doss said she enjoys spending time with her daughter, hiking, camping and frequenting art shows and galleries.