NATO Secretary General thanks US military personnel for their service during visit to Fort Bragg

  • 04 Apr. 2016 - 07 Apr. 2016
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  • Last updated: 06 Apr. 2016 12:11

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked US service personnel on Tuesday (5 April), praising their skills and dedication to keep all Allies safe. In the second day of a visit to the United States, the Secretary General today visited Fort Bragg in North Carolina, home of the US Army airborne forces and Special Forces. The base plays an important role for the security of the United States and NATO. Mr Stoltenberg saw how the 82nd Airborne Division, 18th Airborne Corps maintain readiness and sustain their fighting capability.

Meeting with commanders and paratroopers, Mr. Stoltenberg told them that what they do is really important for NATO and an example of readiness for the whole Alliance. He was briefed on the capabilities and the units of the base and observed a training exercise of the Global Response Force – the US rapid reaction force, which is able to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice. The Global Response Force is counterpart to NATO’s high-readiness Spearhead Force, led by European Allies.

Mr. Stoltenberg also met some of the paratroopers he saw in action during NATO’s large Trident Juncture Exercise in November 2015, when 500 US airborne troops flew directly from Fort Bragg to parachute drop onto a training ground in Spain. Some of them will return to Europe in the months ahead for more military exercises together with the troops of other NATO Allies.

The Secretary General’s US visit continues tomorrow (6 April) in Washington D.C. He will hold meetings with members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, and deliver a keynote speech at an event organized by the Atlantic Council. The speech will be web-streamed live on the NATO website ( and on the website of the organiser: