NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Adriatic Sea on Tuesday (25 October 2022). The Bush currently leads a carrier strike group under NATO command, which Mr Stoltenberg called “a demonstration of US capability and commitment to the Alliance”. He added: “this carrier sends a powerful message of Allied deterrence every day.”
The USS George H.W. Bush is currently leading Neptune Strike 2022, a NATO deployment testing readiness to deter and defend across the Euro-Atlantic area. It includes over 80 aircraft, 14 ships, and around 6,000 personnel from 24 NATO Allies and partners, including Finland and Sweden.
The Secretary General called this “a perfect example of the transatlantic bond – Europe and North America working together in NATO.” He said that the deployment “demonstrates our ability to rapidly reinforce our Allies, and project power across the Alliance”. Mr Stoltenberg added that NATO’s “strength helps to prevent any miscalculation by sending a clear message: NATO will protect and defend every inch of Allied territory.”
The Secretary General also addressed recent claims by Moscow that Ukraine is preparing to use a radiological “dirty bomb” on its own territory, emphasising that “NATO Allies reject this transparently false allegation.” He said that Russia “must not use false pretexts for further escalation.” He further condemned Iran’s military support to the Russian war effort, saying “no country should be helping the aggressor in an illegal war,” and welcomed the sanctions that Allies and the European Union are implementing on Tehran.