U.S. Department of Defense, 3 June 2017
Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work hosted his counterparts and government officials from eight Nordic-Baltic countries today for a Nordic-Baltic Forum at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
The deputy secretary was joined by Danish Defense Secretary Thomas Ahrenkiel, Estonian Defense Secretary Jonatan Vseviov, Finnish Defense Secretary Jukka Juusti, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Iceland Erlingur Erlingsson, Latvian Defense Secretary Jānis Garisons, Lithuanian Vice Defense Minister Vytautas Umbrasas, Norwegian Defense Secretary Øystein Bø and Swedish Defense Secretary Jan Salestrand.
“Much of the discussion focused on the changing geopolitical security environment in the Nordic-Baltic region, Russian behavior and increasing interoperability,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson, spokesperson for Work, said in a statement summarizing the forum. “They also discussed opportunities to further defense cooperation and emphasized the strategic, operational and tactical benefits of defense cooperation. They all noted the cohesion of the Nordic-Baltic region is critical to European and trans-Atlantic security.”
Opportunity to Exchange Views
Work thanked the participants for their contributions to international security and for their bilateral partnerships with the United States, Hillson said. “He noted that meetings like today’s forum provide an opportunity to exchange views about security challenges, as well as to discuss current and future threats in the region and ways we can work together to mitigate those threats,” she added.
As part of the forum, the leaders also observed capability and technology demonstrations of an infantry unit at the Marine Corps base.