UK doubles support for NATO’s maritime missions in 2016

first_img Authorities View post tag: NATO UK doubles support for NATO’s maritime missions in 2016 Back to overview,Home naval-today UK doubles support for NATO’s maritime missions in 2016 View post tag: Royal Navycenter_img Speaking at the NATO Defence Ministerial meeting in Brussels, Belgium, UK’s Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced that UK would almost double its deployments to NATO at sea in 2016.For the first time since 2010 the UK will contribute to NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), an enduring commitment to having NATO warships at sea, which will include two deployments planned this year.In the first deployment, Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Iron Duke will be operating in the Baltic sea from January to July.Thereafter, a Type 45 Destroyer will be working with SNMG1 from October to November.The deployments, involving around 400 Royal Navy personnel, reflect the emphasis placed on NATO in last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review.Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:“Increasing our NATO deployments sends a strong message to our enemies that we are ready to respond to any threat, and defend our allies.”“2016 will see a particular focus on the Baltic region with our ships sent there as part of the Maritime Group, the Mine Counter Measure Group and the Baltops exercise.”The maritime package UK has proposed also includes deployment of three Mine Sweepers, with about 130 Navy personel in total, to NATO’s Standing Naval Mine Counter Measure Group, each for four months. This programme will include covering the Baltic Sea, North Atlantic, North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.Additionally, NATO will use the UK’s national exercise Joint Warrior in North Scotland and the North Atlantic in October of this year to train and certify the NATO Response Force maritime and air component commanders for their NRF commitments in 2017, involving upwards of 550 naval personnel.As expected, the Baltic region, with Russia in the neighbourhood will have a special focus. NATO’s warfare exercise, Exercise Baltops, will see the Royal Navy participate with its largest warship in the fleet, the amphibious assault ship HMS Ocean. Also, two Royal Navy frigates will participate in the major anti-submarine warfare exercise Dynamic Mongoose.The Defence Secretary spoke about NATO’s deterrence stance in the face of Russian aggression and called on Allies to commit, ahead of the NATO Warsaw Summit in July, to meeting the NATO target to spend 2% of GDP on Defence within a decade.Announcements made by NATO states and the United States during the last month could all be said to have a goal of sending a strong message to Russia, whose increased, and improved, maritime activity has NATO generals worried.The United States budget proposal for 2017 includes $4.3 billion for, among other things, military support to “build resilience and reduce vulnerabilities to Russian aggression among NATO allies and partner states in Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia”, as a White House release said.As part of that effort the budget includes $3.4 billion for the Department of Defense’s European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) which entails rotational presence of U.S. forces in Poland in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. February 11, 2016 Share this articlelast_img read more