Posted by: Jason McCartney | February 7, 2011

NATO Briefings in Washington DC

I’ve just got back from my first session with the Defence and Security Committee of the NATO Assembly. We were in Washington DC for briefings at the Pentagon, State Department and with the Foreign Affairs committee of the US Congress. Afghanistan and Egypt were top of the agenda.

We then spent a couple of days with the 3rd Pacific Fleet of the US Navy. As a former RAF Officer it was fascinating to see then latest Littoral Class Combat Ships and meet the skipper and crew of an Aegis class destroyer which is an integral part of NATO’s new layered Ballistic Missile Defence system. The 3rd Fleet numbers 4 aircraft carriers and 60,000 personnel; nearly double the number in our own Royal Navy.

NATO Briefings in Washington DC



  1. Now that’s what you call Naval Might! Imagine if everyone in the Colne Valley were warship personnel, we’d be pretty mighty too. I’m very proud of you for going to Washington and am an avid fan of your other work too. I’m very glad you got voted into office. You are a fine representative of your constituency, and a confident speaker in the house. Are you able to share with us the latest on Afghanistan and Egypt or is it top secret?

  2. … 4 aircraft carriers… in ONE USN fleet alone… The RN Counts… None… Well… Just one, but it no longer carries Harriers… let alone Sea Harriers…
    I still can’t believe the Government did away with such a tool!
    Imagine what Ark Royal/Illustrious/Invincible could have done in front of the Libyan coast… No expensive return flights (with or without refueling above the Med) for Tornado/Typhoons to Italy.
    No, just a couple of miles over the sea and virtually immediately on station…

    What about the Type 45s? “Replacing” the type 42s… And Astute… no matter how “technologically” superior compared to their predecessors, “sheer numbers” still count too. 6 or 7 each is really not sufficient enough. I wonder what is going to happen with the Future Surface Combattant… And what’s going to happen to the RFA – many of its ships are ageing rapidly now and are also in need of replacing…

    The budget is a laugh and the SDR is decimating the UK’s Armed Forces…

  3. What a frankly good post!

  4. That’s an all around amazing piece!

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