Nieuwe vergezichten voor de NAVO

BRUSSEL – Een Amerikaans schip dat deze week een Spaanse marinebasis binnenvaart schrijft geschiedenis. De aankomst van de USS Donald Cook uit Norfolk, Virginia in zijn nieuwe thuishaven in Rota, Spanje markeert de eerste keer dat een schip van de Amerikaanse marine uitgerust met het hightech Aegis ballistische raketverdedigingssysteem permanent in Europa gestationeerd zal zijn.

De USS Donald Cook is de eerste van vier torpedobootjagers van de US Navy die, met rond de 1200 matrozen en personeel, een centrale rol zal spelen in de raketverdedigingscapaciteit van de NAVO. Maar de schepen zullen ook nog vele andere taken uitvoeren, zoals maritieme veiligheidsoperaties, bilaterale en multilaterale oefeningen en deelname aan NAVO-operaties en -inzet, waaronder aan de Standing NAVO Maritime Groups.

De aankomst van de USS Donald Cok betekent een stap vooruit voor de NAVO, de Europese veiligheid en de trans-Atlantische samenwerking. En het laat duidelijk de kracht van de band tussen Amerika en Europa zien in de aanpak van de complexe en onvoorspelbare veiligheidsuitdagingen van onze tijd.

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