HMS Duncan returns to Portsmouth after leading NATO Deployment

Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan has returned to Portsmouth after six months leading a NATO task group in the Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Sea. She returned to cheering crowds of up to 800 people eager to see their loved ones home. Since January the 200 men and women aboard the destroyer, plus a dedicated Royal Navy-led multi-national staff, have sailed thousands of miles leading an international force of warships promoting stability and security across the region. HMS Duncan took charge of NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2, a group…

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NATO Heads of State and Government take decisions to keep North America and Europe safe and secure

Allied Heads of State and Government met in Brussels on Wednesday (11 July 2018) and agreed to further strengthen NATO’s defense and deterrence, step up its role in the fight against terrorism and share the burden of security more fairly. Speaking on the first day of the Summit at NATO Headquarters, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “The decisions we have made today show that Europe and North America are working together. NATO is delivering and we are determined to keep our almost one billion citizens safe and secure.” The twenty…

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Seven NATO Allies plan to acquire maritime munitions together

Seven NATO Allies are signing a Letter of Intent on Multinational Cooperation for the Provision of Maritime Battle Decisive Munitions (MBDM) in Brussels during the NATO Summit (11 and 12 July 2018). Under this agreement, Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Spain plan to combine munitions purchases in order to achieve economies of scale – and thus lower prices. The potential establishment of common warehousing solutions could lower costs even further. The plan covers a broad range of munition types, including surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles, torpedoes, and gun shells.…

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Starship Enterprise completes year-long NATO mission

One year to the day that they raised the NATO flag, the crew of HMS Enterprise lowered it – their mission as a Mediterranean flagship complete. On a sizzling day in Souda Bay, Crete, the survey ship’s task leading a force of international minehunters formally ended as Britain handed over responsibility for the group – which roams from the Pillars of Hercules to eastern shore of the Black Sea – to the German Navy. Temperatures reached 35˚C on the forecastle of the Devonport-based ship as NATO’s Maritime Commander Vice Admiral…

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Royal Navy hands over command of NATO Task Group in Portugal

Commodore Mike Utley OBE formally handed over command of the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) to his Dutch counterpart Commodore Boudewijn GFM Boots, in the port of Lisbon on Saturday 30 June. This marked the end of a year long UK commitment leading SNMG2. Rear Admiral James Morley assumed command of SNMG2 during a ceremony in Souda Bay, Crete 12 months previously before handing over to Commodore Mike Utley on the 4 January 2018. HNLMS De Ruyter assumed the SNMG2 flagship role from HMS Duncan during the same ceremony,…

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Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach Becomes Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

The Chairman of the Military Committee is the senior military advisor to the Secretary General, and the conduit through which advice from NATO’s Chiefs of Defence is presented to the political body of NATO, the North Atlantic Council. Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, said, “I am proud to be joining NATO at such an important time in the history of the Alliance. NATO has delivered collective defense, maintained security and upheld the shared values of our 29 partners for almost seventy years. As Chairman of the Military Committee I…

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NATO unveils new joint air power strategy

NATO air forces must be able to defend against peer competitors and anticipate the growing role of cyber and space-based assets, according to a new NATO joint airpower strategy released on Tuesday (26 June 2018). While air power has played a central role in NATO’s collective defense and crisis management for decades, the strategy is the first of its kind since NATO was founded in 1949. “For almost 70 years, airpower has been a core part of NATO’s military capabilities. From deterring the Soviet Union during the Cold War, to…

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NATO Secretary General: the transatlantic bond keeps us strong and secure

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gave a pre-Summit address on Thursday (21 June 2018) in which he explained the importance of the transatlantic bond and how it is being strengthened in NATO. Speaking at Lancaster House in London, Mr. Stoltenberg highlighted how defence ties between North America and Europe have grown closer. He also explained how the principle at the heart of Alliance remains strong, “Again and again, we unite around our common goal. We stand together. We protect each other.” NATO’s 29 Heads of State and Government will meet in…

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Exercise Trident Juncture 18 to demonstrate NATO’s ability to defend itself

All Allies, as well as partners Finland and Sweden, will participate in NATO’s largest military exercise in recent years, which will take place in Norway in October-November. Trident Juncture 18 will have an Article 5 (collective defence) scenario, and will be under the command of Admiral James G. Foggo, Commander of Joint Force Command Naples. At a press briefing in Brussels today (11 June), Admiral Foggo gave the media a first preview of the exercise together with Vice Admiral Ketil Olsen, Military Representative of Norway to the NATO Military Committee.…

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NATO and China resume military staff to staff talks

After a three year pause NATO and China have reconvened military to military staff talks. The 5th iteration of the staff talks were held on 5th of June, in the New NATO HQ in Brussels. NATO and China’s military dialogue has been constant since 2010, with yearly meetings. This dialogue was interrupted in 2016, due to several circumstances, amongst them the reforms in the Chinese armed forces and the terror attacks in Brussels in March, which led to the cancellation of the planned talks that month. After a three hiatus,…

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Payne Attends NATO Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Brussels

Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne attended NATO Defence Ministers’ meetings and a series of bilateral engagements in Brussels on 8 and 9 June. Minister Payne attended a session on the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and a meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria. Minister Payne said the meetings were important for advancing Australia’s strategic interests in a forum of likeminded partners committed to upholding the rules-based global order. “I am very pleased with the discussions at NATO Headquarters today. The…

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BALTOPS 2018 Daily Update June 3

Exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2018 continued with the final day of the pre-sail planning conference with the 22 participating nations making final preparations before moving to the next phase of the operation. Vice. Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet and commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, traveled to Liepaja Naval Base, Latvia, to meet with Raimonds Bergmaniss, Latvian minister of defense, and Latvian Rear Adm. Ingus Vizulis, commander of the Latvian Naval Force Flotilla. Sailors from the Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC…

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NATO-Russia Council meets in Brussels

The NATO-Russia Council met at Ambassadorial level in Brussels on Thursday (31 May 2018). The NATO-Russia Council had an open exchange on several topics, including the situation in and around Ukraine, issues related to military activities, transparency and risk reduction, as well as asymmetric techniques as aspects of doctrine and strategy. NATO and Russia both briefed on major upcoming exercises. NATO’s approach to Russia is consistent. Practical cooperation was suspended in 2014 due to Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine. At the same time, channels for political dialogue are open and…

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NATO Ships Visit Klaipeda

Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group One (SNMCMG1) under the command of Commander Peter Ramboer of the Belgian Navy arrived Klaipeda, Lithuania May 31st 2018. The group is conducting a routine port visit to Klaipeda as part of their annual schedule of operations. Planned activities include courtesy calls with local authorities and preparations for BALTOPS 18, the premier maritime exercise in the Baltic Sea region. The visit is a visible demonstration of NATO’s continuous presence in the Baltic Sea. Prior to the visit in Klaipeda, the group took part in…

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