Tuesday, July 25, 2017

US,UK and Norway Ink Pact - North Atlantic security needs addressed

On 29 June 2017,the US,UK and Norway drew even closer as they signed a memorandum of intent to outline principles of cooperation for North Atlantic security.The new pact by the three NATO Allies comprises a framework for future cooperation based on the fact that all three will be heavily relying on the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft by 2023,if not before.The US has already put the P-8A in service;while the UK and Norway are preparing for stationing and maintaining the Poseidon.*
The Poseidon is a modified Boeing 737-800 ERX airliner that has both surveillance and maritime strike capability for both anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.It is armed with five internal and six external struts for the AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER and AGN-84 Harpoon missiles;the Mark 54 torpedo;and the High-Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC).*
The memorandum was signed by Defence Ministers Michael Fallon of the UK;Jim Mattis of the US;and Ine Eriksen Soreide of Norway on the sidelines of the recent NATO Defence Ministerial in Brussels.The ministers described the pact as being:
a statement of intent to lay out guiding principles for a trilateral partnership with P-8A aircraft to address the changing security environment in the North Atlantic.As the United States,the United Kingdom,and Norway continue to work to advance trilateral maritime security cooperation,this agreement establishes a framework for further cooperation in areas such as readiness,enhancing defence capability,and interoperability.*
The agreement is a foundation for such capabilities as coordination of operations in the North Atlantic and other regions as necessary,exchange of information,and exploring opportunities to co-locate maintenance and training assets,a defence official told USNI News.For example,the US and UK have already signed an agreement to base US Navy P-8As at RAF Lossiemouth,Scotland.*
Vice-Admiral James G. Foggo III,former commander of the US Navy's 6th Fleet and nominee to command US Naval Forces Europe and Africa,told Proceedings magazine:
Not only have Russia's actions and capabilities increased in alarming and confrontational ways,its national security policy is aimed at challenging the United States and its NATO Allies and partners.*
There is agreement in NATO and defence analytical circles that Russian naval activity has grown more aggressive since it annexed Crimea and instigated unrest in Eastern Ukraine in 2014.In 2015,the Nordic Defence Cooperation countries of Norway,Sweden,Denmark,Finland and Iceland said:
Russia's conduct represents the biggest challenge to European Security.As a consequence,the security situation around the Nordic countries has significantly weakened during the past year.We must be prepared to respond to face possible crises or incidents.The Russian military is acting provocatively along our borders,and there have been several border violations around the Baltic Sea.Closer cooperation in Northern Europe and solidarity with the Baltic states will contribute to stronger security in our region and raise the threshold for possible military incidents.*
The UK is currently preparing facilities for the P-8A at RAF Lossiemouth,Scotland.Both Royal Air Force and Royal Navy personnel will crew the nine aircraft the UK is purchasing.Their initial training is taking place in the US,as will depot level maintenance of UK P-8As.*
Boeing (BA)

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