Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will travel to Germany, Estonia, and Belgium June 21 – 26 for a series of bilateral and multilateral meetings with European defense ministers and to participate in his first NATO Ministerial as secretary of defense.
Secretary Carter will highlight the importance of a united NATO and strong U.S.-German relationship in remarks at the Allianz Forum in Berlin the morning of June 22. He will then have a bilateral meeting with German defense minister. Later that day, he will travel to Münster, Germany, to visit the 1st German-Netherlands Corps, the land component of NATO’s Interim Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, together with his German, Dutch, and Norwegian counterparts.
On June 23, in Tallinn, Estonia, Secretary Carter will meet with Estonian leaders and commemorate Estonian Victory Day. He will also meet with defense ministers from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. While in Tallinn, Secretary Carter will also visit U.S. sailors and Marines aboard the USS San Antonio (LPD-17), which just finished participating as the lead U.S. ship of the 43rd BALTOPS sea exercise.
Secretary Carter will then attend the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels, Belgium, June 24 – 25, where he will discuss U.S. commitments to the NATO Alliance.
On June 26, Secretary Carter will return to Germany to attend an exercise that will include over one dozen nations, hosted by the U.S. Army at Grafenwoer training area.
In this important month for the alliance, Secretary Carter will hear directly from ministers, defense leaders, and service members about the progress we have made since the Wales Summit to address the new security environment, including the challenges from Russia and NATO’s southern front, and discuss what we must do in the future to enhance the effectiveness of the alliance.