NATO

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During the visit to Norway, 7-8 June 2005, US Defence Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld met with Norwegian Defence Minister, Kristin Krohn Devold at the JWC/NJHQ Jatta to sign a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the reinforcement of Norway; to discuss multilateral security cooperation between the United States and Norway and the role of the Alliance's future security environment and NATO's role. After his visit to Norway, Mr Rumsfeld will travel to Brussels on Thursday, 9 June 2005, to participate to the North Atlantic Council (NAC) Defence Ministers' formal meeting that is held twice a year at the NATO Headquarters.

At the Press Conference by Rumsfeld and Krohn Devold, an US/Norway bilateral study, which provided for the rapid reinforcement of Norway, was signed. The agreement centred around continued close cooperation on the development of US forward deployed military equipment in Norway.

Strategic storage and mobilization According to the revised MOU, US-led Marine Corps Prepositioning Program in Norway (MCPP-N) will allow strategic storage and mobilization of US military equipment at Norwegian facilities to be used specifically in humanitarian missions; training and exercise purposes that are both related to national and NATO exercises, and continue supporting other operations such as the Balkans and Afghanistan as it had done in the past. Also, the prepositioning program in Norway will mesh with today's security environment and strengthen the US ability to support Norway in a situation of crisis or war.

JWC's leadership training initiative invaluable The two ministers both stressed that their countries were committed to strengthening the security of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and enhancing operational responsiveness. In his remarks, Rumsfeld reiterated his support towards the NATO mission in Iraq. He commented JWC's leadership training initiative as invaluable to transition responsibilities from Coalition to Iraqi Security Forces. The Defence Secretary also stated that transformation was to keep the Alliance relevant to the new security environment and thanked the JWC staff for their efforts and support that are meant to improve ACT's role.

Extremely useful Krohn Devold's comments on the JWC also stood in line with Mr. Rumsfeld. "JWC is a quite new NATO facility but they have been extremely useful for NATO as proven by training of the Iraqis and the three large contingencies for NATO's ISAF mission. NATO did not have such a capability before. As the Host Nation, we have always stood up NATO's transforming missions and projects to support peace," she said.