Defense

May 21, 2012

NATO declares missile defense system operational

by Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

During its first session at the 25th NATO Summit in Chicago May 20, the alliance’s senior governing body declared operational the missile defense system it endorsed at its November 2010 summit in Lisbon, Portugal, NATO’s secretary general said.

During a news conference following the North Atlantic Council session, Anders Fogh Rasmussen characterized the accomplishment as true trans-Atlantic teamwork.

“We call this an interim capability, … the first step toward our long-term goal of providing full coverage and protection for all NATO European populations, territory and forces,” Rasmussen said.

“Our system will link together missile defense assets from different allies – satellites, ships, radars and interceptors – under NATO command and control,” he added. “It will allow us to defend against threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.”

The secretary general described the culture of cooperation in NATO as “smart defense,” in which countries work together to develop capabilities they could not develop on their own.

“We already have some good examples,” he said, noting that NATO allies share the job of patrolling airspace in the Balkan states.

“This means our Baltic allies can focus their resources in other critical areas, such as deployable forces for Afghanistan,” he said. “This is why we have agreed that NATO will provide continuous air policing for the Baltic states.”

The council also agreed today to acquire an alliance ground surveillance capability that uses unarmed drones to provide crucial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information to military commanders who must monitor developing situations and identify potential threats.

“During our operation to protect the people of Libya, we learned how important it is to have the best possible intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.” Rasmussen said. “So we realized that we need more of this capability. We are now filling that gap.”

According to a White House fact sheet, a group of 14 allies has agreed to acquire five unmanned aerial vehicles and their command-and-control ground stations. Participating allies are Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States.

NATO will operate and maintain the system on behalf of the alliance, with common funding from all 28 allies, the fact sheet said.

The council also approved a package of more than 20 multinational projects to provide capabilities at an affordable price for NATO, the secretary general said. These include a project among several allies to jointly acquire remote-controlled robots that can clear deadly roadside bombs, he said. Another group of allies will pool their maritime patrol aircraft to efficiently provide more awareness of activities on the sea.

“Within NATO we have also agreed that our forces will step up exercises, training and education, including with our partners, so they can preserve the skills they’ve mastered in operations,” Rasmussen added.

At the 2010 Lisbon summit, NATO leaders adopted a strategic concept that committed NATO to meeting security challenges of the 21st century, from terrorism to ballistic missile and cyber attacks to nuclear proliferation, White House officials said.

At this summit, NATO’s leadership outlined a vision of how NATO will maintain the capabilities it needs. A new document titled “NATO Forces 2020″ helps to set NATO’s priorities for investing in capabilities over the next decade.

The framework calls for realistic efforts to maintain and develop multinational capabilities despite defense budget cuts in the United States and Europe, White House officials said. It also institutionalizes lessons learned from recent and current operations, ensures that NATO can maintain interoperability among allies and with partners, and identifies critical capabilities gaps.

“Our goal,” the secretary general said, is … an alliance that deals with the economic challenges of today and is prepared for the security challenges of the future.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

AF delivers Iraqi F-16s for training in US

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan Iraqi air force captain Hama conducts preflight inspections while inside a new to service Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon Dec. 17, 2014, located at the nearby Tucson International Airport...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn

Short-notice: A new way to exercise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for an aeromedical evacuation exercise on a KC-135 Stratotanker Dec. 5, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The operation was executed in supp...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

Japan, Australia to provide F-35 maintenance sites in Pacific region

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe An F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter carrier variant prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean, Nov. 6, 2014. Japan and Australia will be sharing...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>