Defence Minister visits UK flagship of NATO maritime group in Georgia

Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster has visited Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan and other NATO warships in the Black Sea on a visit to Georgia.

The two-day trip also saw the Minister discuss regional defence and security issues with Georgian government officials.

HMS Duncan is the flagship of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 which is currently on deployment to the Black Seas alongside warships from eight other NATO nations, providing a tangible demonstration of the UK’s commitment to Black Sea security and Georgia’s aspirations for NATO and EU integration. The British Commander of the NATO Maritime Group, Commodore Mike Utley, and HMS Duncan’s Captain, Commander Eleanor Stacks, welcomed the Minister aboard where he was given a tour of the ship and met with the Ship’s Company.

Mr Lancaster thanked the personnel on board and acknowledged the sacrifice they make being away from their families whilst in support of the Alliance. Recently, HMS Duncan conducted a joint exercise with an RAF Typhoon, based in Romania as part of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission, and two Romanian Air Force MIG21s, designed to test the reaction and agility of NATO forces in a crisis scenario.

The Minister said: “Our security and defence relationship with Georgia is more vital now than ever. In the face of changing threats, it is essential that we work together with friendly nations that share our interests and values.”

image © Crown Copyright

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