Readout of the 241st Meeting of the U.S. – Canada Permanent Joint Board on Defense

Friday, October 13, 2023

On October 11, 2023, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs, Melissa G. Dalton, co-chaired the 241st meeting of the U.S.-Canada Permanent Joint Board on Defense (PJBD) with the Canadian co-chair, the Honorable John McKay. The PJBD is the principal forum for U.S.-Canada bilateral defense cooperation, which brings together key leaders to discuss bilateral defense issues and priorities.

The U.S. delegation included the Commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, General Glen VanHerck; the Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense for the offices responsible for Western Hemisphere Affairs; Arctic and Global Resilience; Homeland Defense Integration and Defense Support to Civil Authorities; China, Taiwan and Mongolia; and Cyber Policy; and additional representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State and U.S. Northern Command.  The Canadian delegation included Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy Peter Hammerschmidt, and representatives from Canada’s Ministry of National Defence, the Joint Staff, and the Embassy of Canada to the United States.

The U.S. and Canadian delegations discussed North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) modernization; Arctic security and climate change; defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and globally; and their shared commitment to consult on strategic defense guidance.  The PJBD discussions included updates on NORAD modernization efforts to improve capabilities necessary for NORAD to conduct its aerospace and maritime warning and aerospace control missions.  The co-chairs also reviewed recent developments in the Middle East, reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself, and expressed their condolences to the families who lost their lives to the recent violence in Israel, including American and Canadian citizens.

The co-chairs affirmed the importance of the U.S.-Canada defense relationship and the need to intensify collaboration on bilateral defense and security priorities in the coming period.