Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG 1) has concluded a historical ordnance disposal operation along the north coast of Norway, in the Lofoten and Tromso areas, making them safer for fishermen, merchant shipping, underwater operations and civilian installations.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke by telephone with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Wednesday (19 August 2020). They discussed recent developments in the eastern Mediterranean, as well as in Libya.
A NATO-funded project to dispose of old and dangerous ammunition in Ukraine has just resumed, following an interruption earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures have been put in place to ensure that this important work continues in a safe manner. With the restart of activities, some 1,500 tons of unserviceable munitions are expected to be destroyed and safely disposed by the end of 2020. Since 2011, the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has contributed to the safe elimination of around 30,000 tons of ammunition and 2.4 million antipersonnel landmines. The project is part of the “Demilitarization” Trust Fund, one of the ten NATO trust funds supporting Ukraine.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addressed the situation in Belarus in a telephone conversation with President Andrzej Duda of Poland on Tuesday (18 August 2020).
Allied ships and aircraft conducted air-maritime integration training in the Baltic Sea on Thursday (13 August 2020). En route to a port visit in Riga, Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 vessels HMCS Toronto and NRP Corte Real conducted air defence training with Spanish F-18 and French Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets participating in NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission. A NATO AWACS aircraft was on-site, providing surveillance of the ships' movements.
On Thursday 13 August 2020, the Spanish Ministry of Defence delivered disinfectants to the Iraqi authorities, in response to the global Coronavirus pandemic. A ceremony to this effect was held at the Iraqi air base of Al-Muthana, in the presence of several officials, including Brigadier General Salah from the Prime Minister National Operation Command and the Spanish Chargée d’Affaires, Mrs Mariana Figueroa Sánchez.
Allied fighter jets from Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria scrambled to respond to unidentified air activity over the Black Sea on Tuesday (11 August 2020). The aircraft was visually identified as belonging to the Russian military, and the measures were conducted in a coordinated and professional manner. NATO remains vigilant 24/7 to safeguard the airspace of our Allies.
The second aircraft in NATO’s future fleet of multi-role aircraft arrived in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, on Monday (10 August 2020). The milestone follows the arrival of the first aircraft from the production facility in Getafe, Spain on 30 June. By the end of 2024, the full fleet will consist of eight Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, with an option to extend the contract up to eleven aircraft in the future.
The Netherlands has deployed its Dutch Urban Search and Rescue Team to Beirut, following the devastating explosions which rocked the Lebanese capital on 4 August.
The long-standing partnership between NATO and Ukraine includes strong scientific cooperation in a variety of domains, such as counter-terrorism, advanced technologies, cyber defence, energy security, and defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents. Tailored cooperation and dialogue with Ukraine is deepening, thanks to the country’s new status as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner, since June 2020, in recognition of its contributions to Euro-Atlantic security.
Tim De Zitter is a system manager at the Belgian Ministry of Defence. He works with experts from other NATO Allies to procure land combat missile and rocket systems for use on the battlefield.
Michael Brasseur is a naval warfare expert at the US Mission to NATO. This former captain of two warships who has sailed and served all over the world, now works at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Together with experts from other NATO Allies, he is working to help enhance the Alliance’s technological edge on critical maritime capabilities.
Speaking at the online Symi Symposium on the “The World post COVID-19” on Tuesday (28 July 2020), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană stressed the importance to remain vigilant, prepared and engaged in the face of traditional and new security challenges.
On Sunday 26 July 2020, in response to a request for COVID-19 relief aid from Iraq to NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), Spain handed over critical medical supplies to Iraqi authorities. The donation by the Spanish Ministry of Defence was handed over to the Director of the Prime Minister´s National Operations Centre Major General Mohamed Al Shimary, by the Deputy Head of Mission of the Spanish Embassy Mariana Figueroa Sánchez, during a small ceremony at Baghdad International Airport.
The fourth NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) aircraft arrived on 26 July 2020 at its new homebase in Sigonella, Italy. The landing marks yet another step for NATO on its way to acquiring a total of five RQ-4D remotely piloted aircraft.
On Wednesday (22 July 2020), NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, Baiba Braže, participated in Belgrade NATO Week, an annual event organised by the Centre for Euro-Atlantic Studies in Serbia and supported by NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division. In an online panel discussion, the Assistant Secretary General addressed NATO’s response to the pandemic and its role in strengthening resilience against disinformation.
Coronavirus response: The United Kingdom delivers field hospital to West Africa following UN global call for support
Following a global request by the United Nations for airlift support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Kingdom Royal Air Force transported a field hospital from Europe to Accra, Ghana, in coordination with NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). The United Nations used this mechanism to call for NATO Allies’ help in transporting urgently needed medical items. With commercial flights disrupted and the cost of cargo flights having escalated, this support came at a crucial time.
Standing NATO Maritime Group Two is taking part in the multinational exercise Sea Breeze, which began on Monday (20 July 2020) in the Black Sea. The annual exercise, now in its 20th iteration, is co-hosted by the United States and Ukraine, and aims to strengthen maritime security in the Black Sea region.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke by telephone with Japanese Defence Minister Taro Kono on Tuesday (21 July 2020), addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, regional security issues, and ways to further strengthen cooperation between NATO and Japan.
Dan Black is a senior analyst at NATO Headquarters, at NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges Division. This Canadian citizen deals with current and future security issues.
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