NATO Secretary General joins Allied ministers to watch Spearhead Force in action
NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg along with the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, and Defence Ministers of Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, as well as top NATO military commanders, attended the first deployment exercise of the Alliance’s new very high readiness Spearhead Force on Thursday (18 June 2015) in western Poland.
The Secretary General described exercise Noble Jump as NATO delivering on the promises made at the Wales Summit, where Alliance leaders decided to increase the readiness and preparedness of NATO forces in response to rising security challenges from the east and the south. "This is a strong expression that NATO stands ready to protect and defend Poland and all Allies against any threat," Mr Stoltenberg said.
“I am impressed by what I've seen," he added, praising the professionalism, the dedication of the troops and their ability to work together. "Troops from 9 different countries working together as one - this is really the strength of NATO,” said the Secretary General.
Mr. Stoltenberg met with Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Tomasz Siemoniak, the German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, the Dutch Defence Minister Jeannine Hennis-Plasschaert and the Norwegian Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, whose countries are playing a leading role in developing NATO's very high readiness force. Brigadier General Kees Matthijssen, the Brigade Commander of the interim VJTF, explained that the 2,100 participating troops from 9 countries had deployed within 4 days using 9 trains, 440 vehicles, 30 military convoys, 17 flights and over 100 containers. The exercise started on 9 June and runs until 19 June. The speed and the precision of the new force was demonstrated in practice in a live fire exercise involving special operations against irregular forces, combat helicopters and fighter aircraft, tanks, and armoured engineering vehicles.
The Secretary General also met with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski in Warsaw. He thanked the President for his personal leadership and commitment to a strong defence and a strong NATO strong. Poland will meet the 2 % of GDP guideline in spending on defence this year and in July 2016 will host the Warsaw Summit, which will be a key milestone in the adaptation of the Alliance. Mr Stoltenberg also met President-elect Andrzej Duda.