U.S. military leaders gathered at Joint Force Command Norfolk in Virginia on Thursday to celebrate full readiness of the first operational NATO headquarters in North America.
The new command will be responsible for the Atlantic and Arctic regions.
Article by: Megan Eckstein for US based DefenseNews 16.07.21
NATO also has two other joint force commands — one in Brunssum, Netherlands (considered the heart of Europe), and another in Naples, Italy, in the Mediterranean region — U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis noted at the ceremony aboard the American amphibious warship Kearsarge.
Lewis leads U.S. 2nd Fleet and the new command JFC Norfolk, both of which were stood up in recent years in response to increased Russian submarine activity in the Atlantic Ocean, increased military and commercial traffic in the Arctic, and other factors that have generated a renewed interest in securing the seaways between Europe and the United States.
Setting up a third joint force command in Virginia “creates a link between North America and Europe and helps to further develop the desired 360-degree approach for our collective defense and security. Joint Force Command Norfolk is the first operational-level NATO headquarters in North America and is the Atlantic advocate within the alliance, enhancing NATO’s readiness and responsiveness,” Lewis said.
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