UK to Double NATO Naval Deployments in 2016

By Aiswarya Lakshmi
Thursday, February 11, 2016
NATO Defence Ministers. Photo: NATO

 Britain is doubling its naval deployments to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in a move aimed a showing enemies that "we are ready to respond to any threat", the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced.

 
Britain will play a bigger role in NATO maritime exercises and activities in 2016, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
 
The UK will reportedly send five extra ships to the Baltic and additional troops to be stationed on a rotational basis in six countries bordering Russia.
 
A decision on the number of troops is expected to be taken at the NATO summit in the Polish capital, Warsaw, in the summer.
 
"Increasing our Nato deployments sends a strong message to our enemies that we are ready to respond to any threat, and defend our allies," Fallon was to say, according to an MoD statement.
 
"2016 will see a particular focus on the Baltic region with our ships sent there as part of the maritime group, the mine counter measure group and the Baltops exercise."
 
HMS Iron Duke, a Type 23 Frigate, will operate in the Baltic Sea until July and a Type 45 Destroyer will be deployed in October and November.
 
British troops will also be stationed on the ground in six Baltic states, closer to the Russian border regions. The exact number of personnel is to be decided shortly as Nato defence ministers get ready for the Brussels meet, which will be dominated by Moscow's actions.
 
The 28-member Nato alliance is trying to figure out how to adapt to a complicated array of potential threats, including feared Russian land seizures along the borders of countries in eastern Europe and the Baltic nations.
 

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