NATO praises British submarines for contributing to alliance’s nuclear deterrence

HMS Victorious

From Britain’s Ministry of DefenseFull text of letter from NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Dear Secretary of State,

As our most recent strategic concept highlighted, the greatest responsibility of the alliance is to protect and defend our territory and populations against attack, as set out in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

A great example of this has been the UK’s independent strategic nuclear forces which, through their constant vigilance and professionalism over these past 45 years, have helped ensure the freedom and security of the allies.

These important UK capabilities will continue to play a crucial role as part of NATO’s appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces that both deter and defend against threats to our alliance.

With that in mind, I would wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the UK on the successful conclusion of the 100th patrol undertaken by the Vanguard class of submarine under Operation Relentless.

I would be grateful if you could please pass on my thanks to all those Royal Navy personnel who undertake these patrols, their families and those who support this operation for their dedication to this vital mission.

Yours sincerely,

Anders Fogh Rasmussen

From Philip Hammond, Defense Minister of Britain:

I welcome NATO’s acknowledgement of the UK’s continuing commitment to our collective security. Our ballistic missile submarine force forms a key part of the NATO security umbrella which protects the whole alliance.

Just because the Cold War is over doesn’t mean we should drop our guard or weaken our deterrent. No one knows what threats we may face in the future: powerful nuclear arsenals remain while a number of non-nuclear states are attempting to acquire nuclear weapons that could threaten us.

The Royal Navy’s continuous patrols beneath the oceans are vital to deterring our adversaries and key to reassuring our allies.  (photo: Jk Press)

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