“The nuclear forces of the Alliance, including those at Clyde Naval Base, are the supreme guarantee of the security of allied countries and populations.”
Mr. Stoltenberg said that at a time of evolving security challenges the Alliance is protected by the full spectrum of defence and deterrence capabilities.
“I welcome the UK’s strong contribution to NATO, from its commitment to defence investment to its operational deployments. Allies will continue to ensure that NATO’s nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective”, the Secretary General said.
He added that NATO was committed to creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons in line with the Allies’ commitments to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The Royal Navy have provided continuous at sea deterrence for almost 50 years.
Mr. Stoltenberg pointed out that the number of Europe-based nuclear weapons available to NATO has been reduced dramatically since the end of the Cold War but that efforts for nuclear disarmament need to take into account the realities of the threats the Alliance faces.
Recently, Royal Navy Submariners at HM Naval Base Clyde marked a major milestone recently with the successful completion of the 350th deterrent patrol.
Rear Admiral John Weale OBE, Head of the UK Submarine Service said:
“Our nuclear submarines are among the most complex machines ever built and ensuring that one is at sea continuously is a huge challenge. That the Royal Navy has completed 350 deterrent patrols without once breaking the chain is simply a momentous achievement.
Everyone knows that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Whether it is the dedication of our submariners, the expertise of our engineers and support staff, or the love of our families– each link remained strong throughout. I would like to thank the many thousands of people, past and present, who have contributed to this milestone. It is a testament to their hard work and commitment in helping to keep the UK safe.”