Carrier's powerful message of allied deterrence, NATO chief says during USS George HW Bush visit

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has visited the US Navy aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush in the Adriatic Sea.

The US Navy aircraft carrier is currently leading 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 HW Bush is currently leading Neptune Strike 2022, a NATO deployment testing readiness to deter and defend across the Euro-Atlantic area.

Included in the exercise are more than 80 aircraft, 14 ships, and around 6,000 personnel from 24 NATO allies and partners, including Finland and Sweden.

The Secretary General called the exercise "a perfect example of the transatlantic bond – Europe and North America working together in NATO."

He added that the deployment "demonstrates our ability to rapidly reinforce our allies, and project power across the alliance".

NATO sec Mr. Stoltenberg addressed USS George H.W. Bush's crew and met sailors and pilots 26102022 CREDIT NATO TV
Mr Stoltenberg addressed the ship's crew and met sailors and pilots, thanking them all for their service and dedication (Picture: NATO TV).

Mr Stoltenberg highlighted 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 also said that Russia "must not use false pretexts for further escalation".

During the visit the Mr Stoltenberg 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.

He also addressed the ship's crew and met sailors and pilots, thanking them all for their service and dedication.

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