Last week I travelled to the US to reaffirm the historic and enduring defence relationship shared by the the United Kingdom and US ahead of the 75th anniversary of D-Day
During the visit I met with my US counterparts, the secretaries of each of the US Services, Secretary for the Air Force Dr Heather Wilson, Secretary for the Navy Mr Richard Spencer, Secretary for the Army Dr Mark Esper as well as Acting Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness, James N.Stewart.
Discussions covered all aspects of the transatlantic defence partnership, including current operations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, intelligence sharing, nuclear co-operation, defence procurement, and flagship joint programmes like the F-35 programme.
With the anniversary of D-Day just around the corner there is no better time to reflect on our historic and enduring relationship with the US. Our shared values and commitment to global security are as strong now as they were 75 years ago.
More recently we have seen joint action to defeat Daesh, degrade and deter the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons, and provide reassurance to allies in Eastern Europe as leaders in NATO. The ability of our two militaries to work hand in glove continues to keep our citizens safe on both sides of the pond.
The US and the UK have the largest defence budgets in the world and in Europe respectively, allowing troops from both countries to train and deploy together every day with cutting-edge technology.
We are together combating terrorism and violent extremism in the Middle East and Africa, maintaining freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf, providing reassurance to Allies in Europe, delivering training and support to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, undertaking counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa, countering the narcotic trade in South America and the Caribbean, and providing nuclear deterrence for NATO.