Deputy Secretary of Defense Spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson provided the following:
Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work visited Poland and Romania to participate in two Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense ceremonies and meet with senior governmental leaders to discuss emerging security challenges in the region, May 10-13.
In Romania, he visited Bucharest and Deveselu, May 11 and 12, and met with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Minister of National Defense Mihnea Motoc and Minister of Foreign Affairs Lazar Comanescu. He thanked Romanian officials for Romania’s important global and regional contributions to NATO and its pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on national defense by 2017, and offered condolences on the recent deaths of two Romanian soldiers serving in Afghanistan. Work also provided remarks at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Dacian Ciclos and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg marking the operational certification of the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense site in Deveselu.
In Poland, he visited Redzikowo May 13, where he provided remarks at a ceremony, attended by Polish President Andrzej Duda, which broke ground for a second Aegis Ashore site. Work also met with Minister of Defense Antoni Macierewicz and thanked the people and government of Poland for their commitment to spend 2 percent of GDP on national defense by 2017, as well as its support of NATO’s missile defense efforts and contributions to tackling broader security challenges.
Throughout his trip, discussions focused on enhancing cooperation with NATO allies to integrate ballistic missile defense (BMD) capabilities into a NATO missile defense system, as well as regional security items of interest. The deputy secretary emphasized countering the threat of a ballistic missile attack from outside the Euro-Atlantic area is a collective security challenge that requires collective defense. He also explained the two BMD ceremonies were important steps in our efforts, and those of our Allies, to protect against the growing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles of increasingly greater ranges, lethality, and sophistication, and stressed that the Aegis Ashore sites are in no way directed at Russia, cannot undermine Russia’s strategic deterrent and are fully compliant with international agreements.
Release No: NR-174-16
May 13, 2016
May 13, 2016