Armed forces Minister visits Washington

Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster visited Washington DC to discuss the USA and UK partnership ahead of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

During the visit, armed forces minister Mr Lancaster met with his 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.

Nations that took part in Operation Overlord and the D-Day landings alongside the UK have been invited to attend a memorial in the UK and Normandy. This includes the US, Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Greece, and Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Mark Lancaster, Minister for the Armed Forces said: “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 Memorial event will pay tribute to the sacrifice of those who fought on D-Day, recognising the international cooperation during the Normandy landings. The US and the UK have the largest defence budgets in the world and in Europe respectively, and train and deploy troops on joint operations.

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