Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commended the key US contribution to NATO’s missile defence capability in a visit to the USS Carney, an Aegis destroyer, at Naval Station Mayport in Florida on Friday (29 May 2015). The destroyer will set sail to Rota, Spain, in September to be part of the Alliance’s ballistic missile defence system alongside three sister ships.
The Secretary General said that the USS Carney will be a “9,000 ton boost to NATO’s ballistic missile defence system,” with European Allies also playing their part. He described it as “transatlantic teamwork,” and an excellent example of NATO’s commitment to deploying modern capabilities against modern threats. Mr Stoltenberg stressed that the aim of NATO’s missile defence system, which NATO leaders decided to develop in 2010, is “to protect European Allies against the growing threat of ballistic missile proliferation from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.”
Once homeported in Rota, the USS Carney will also carry out a range of tasks, including patrolling and training.
The Secretary General thanked the men and women of the USS Carney for their impressive professionalism and commitment. As they prepare to embark on their journey, Mr Stoltenberg gave the crew a NATO flag to take to Europe as a symbol of Alliance unity, and wished them “fair winds and following seas.”
The Secretary General is concluding a visit to the United States, during which he thanked President Barack Obama, senior US officials, as well as members of the US armed forces in Florida and Georgia for their significant contribution to keeping NATO strong.
L. J. De Rothschild