US Secretary of Defense James Mattis spoke by phone with Australian Minister for Defence Marise Payne to discuss the US–Australia defence relationship.
Secretary Mattis thanked Minister Payne for Australia's support to counter-ISIL operations in the Middle East, as well as for Australia's continued contributions in Afghanistan. Secretary Mattis was encouraged by progress with force posture initiatives, including the recent signing of a cost-sharing arrangement.
A Pentagon spokesman said Secretary Mattis looks forward to discussing this and other issues in more detail when they meet.
Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis is the 26th United States Secretary of Defense and is a retired United States Marine Corp general.