RAMSTEIN, Germany – Today a new milestone in
the development of NATO Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) has been reached. Commander Allied Air Command, General Wolters
is pleased to announce the achievement of the transfer of authority over NATO's
first permanent Ballistic Missile Defense engagement resource, the Aegis Ashore
Missile Defense System in Romania.
"This is a significant step toward the aim of NATO
BMD, offering a stronger capability to defend populations, territory, and
forces across southern NATO Europe" says General Wolters.
The Aegis Ashore site located in Deveselu, Romania is
a substantial increase in NATO's defence capability. The command and control of
the Aegis Ashore has been transferred to NATO and is now being conducted from Headquarters
Allied Air Command, Ramstein, Germany.
"The greatest responsibility of the Alliance is to
protect and defend its members, and NATO will maintain the full range of
capabilities necessary to deter and defend" General Wolters says.
NATO's BMD capability is purely defencive. The
threat to NATO member countries, posed by the proliferation of ballistic
missiles, continues to increase and missile defence forms part of a broader
response to counter it. NATO missile defence is not directed against Russia and
will not undermine Russia's strategic deterrence capabilities. It is intended
to defend against potential threats emanating from outside the Euro-Atlantic
The tactical responsibility lies at NATO's single
command for air and space matters – the Allied Air Command, located in
Ramstein, Germany. The standing mission of defending NATO population, territory
and forces against Ballistic Missile threats is done by a 24 hour watch team –
the Ballistic Missile Defence Operation Cell.
Story by HQ AIRCOM