The intelligence that Defense Intelligence Agency collects, analyzes and disseminates is indispensable to the Defense Department and the wider intelligence community, said Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks.

The department is “smarter and stronger, thanks to the hard work of DIA professionals, military and civilian, who work day and night around the world,” said Hicks, who presided over a DIA change of director ceremony from Army Lt. Gen. Scott D. Berrier to Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Kruse, at Joint Base Andrews-Bolling, in Washington, D.C. today.

DOD relies on DIA and the entire defense intelligence enterprise for insights on all the challenges faced, including China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and violent extremist organizations. DIA also collects intelligence from borderless threats like pandemics and climate change, Hicks said. 

Adapting to confront a decade’s long strategic competition with China as the department’s pacing challenge requires deliberate doubling down with confidence and urgency, recognizing that the DOD is in a persistent generational competition for advantage, she said, and “we have no time to waste.” 

To a greater extent today, intelligence sharing with allies and partners is important. It is especially true for supporting Ukraine, she said.

Regarding Berrier, Hicks said that Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, said: “Through every assignment and deployment your analytical expertise protected American and allied warfighters and defended our national security interests. Your vision and measured leadership under pressure provided our country’s leaders with decision advantage and made America safer.” 

Hicks said she’s confident that Kruse will continue Berrier’s good work.

Kruse’s career has well prepared him for the task ahead, she added. He understands what it will take to continue to deter China’s and Russia’s aggression, and to deal with regional threats like North Korea or Iran, “because we’re a global force with global responsibilities.”

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