NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the North Sea on Friday (12 October 2018), together with the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti. The USS Truman is en route to participate in NATO’s biggest exercise in years, Trident Juncture 2018, joining around sixty other ships from across the Alliance.
The Secretary General thanked the crew of the USS Truman for their service, emphasizing that the carrier delivers deterrence every day, and helps keep sea lines of communication open. He further noted that the carrier has been crucial in helping defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Mr. Stoltenberg welcomed that the USS Truman is taking part in exercise Trident Juncture, marking the first visit by a US carrier group to Norwegian waters since 1987. He said that Exercise Trident Juncture will send a clear message of Allied solidarity – that NATO is ready to respond to any threat from any direction.
Highlighting the key role of maritime power in NATO’s strengthened deterrence and defence, Mr. Stoltenberg stressed that the Atlantic Ocean is a bridge between North America and Europe which needs to be protected. He welcomed that the Alliance is stepping up its efforts to this end, including with a new Joint Force Command for the Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia.
On Friday, the Secretary General and General Scaparrotti also visited the HDMS Esbern Snare of the Royal Danish Navy – the flagship of one of NATO’s multinational naval groups.