The top US military commander in Europe has told Sky News that NATO is ready to respond to the growing threat from Russia.
General Curtis Scaparrotti, head of US European Command and NATO’s supreme allied commander, was speaking on the US aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman as it set sail to the Norwegian Sea for the first time since 1987.
Sky News joined the warship as it prepares to participate in NATO’s largest exercise since the end of the Cold War, Trident Juncture 2018, with about 60 other ships from across the Alliance.
Gen Scaparrotti, who rarely makes public statements, told Sky News: Russia has set out to increase their presence and also they’re modernising their force.
It’s not something that I think is unexpected, but it’s something we do need to pay attention to.
We need to continue to increase our capabilities and to train so that we remain dominant in war-fighting capabilities.
NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, who was also on a visit of the aircraft carrier, said the US was sending a clear message that it still values the Alliance.
His remarks follow comments made by President Donald Trump in July which berated NATO allies for not spending as much as the US on defence.
Mr Stoltenberg told Sky News: The US is increasing its military presence in Europe with more troops, more exercises, more equipment… all of that is a strong message from the US that it is committed to NATO.