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180607defmin400General Mercier attended the NATO Ministers of Defence meetings in Brussels on June 7th and 8th.

During their two-day meeting Ministers strengthened the Alliance’s deterrence and defence, discussed the means of enhancing efforts to project stability and fight terrorism, and explored ways of further boosting cooperation with the European Union.

The long process of NATO Command Structure adaptation, conducted together by Allied Command Transformation and Allied Command Operations, was addressed as Ministers agreed to strengthen the NATO command structure by more than 1,200 personnel. They also agreed that a new Joint Force Command for the Atlantic will be based at Norfolk, Virginia in the United States, and that a new Enabling Command will be based in Ulm in Germany. Allies also committed, by 2020, to having 30 mechanised battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 combat vessels, ready to use within 30 days or less. This shows the Allies’ determination to address readiness across the Alliance.

Defence ministers concluded meetings with a discussion about the Alliance’s training mission in Afghanistan, and its continuing support to the Afghan government and Afghan security forces.

It was the last meeting of NATO Ministers before the Summit in Brussels on July 11th – 12th.