Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, met key figures in Washington DC to discuss bilateral defence cooperation.
The Minister for the Armed Forces visited the United States of America this week for talks with key officials and political leaders to reaffirm the UK’s deep defence and security relationship with the US – one of the closest such partnerships between any two nations in the world.
Minister for the Armed Forces, Rt Hon James Heappey MP, said:
The UK’s defence and security relationship with the USA is uniquely close, and the sight of British and American aircraft landing on a British aircraft carrier stationed off America’s coastline is the perfect demonstration of the depth of that alliance.
I have held productive discussions with senior administration officials and military chiefs to discuss the future of this relationship in the context of serious conflicts both in Ukraine, and now in the Middle East.
His visit began at the United Nations headquarters in New York, where he met the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, for discussions on the UN’s peacekeeping reforms and how the UK can contribute to them.
He then visited the US Military Academy, West Point, to meet senior leaders and cadets to understand what the UK armed forces could learn from the US Army’s approach to training the next generation of leaders.
In Washington DC, the minister held talks with senior officials, discussing areas for further strengthening the UK-US defence relationship, as well as support for both Israel and Ukraine. He then met senior politicians in Congress for further talks on defence cooperation and on continuing support for Ukraine has it fights to regain its sovereign territory.
His visit to the US coincided with that of the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales – the largest ship ever built for the Royal Navy – which has been conducting trials with US armed forces off the east coast to test the future of naval aviation. Visiting the ship off the coast of Virginia with the US Secretary of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro, the minister had the chance to speak to the ship’s company about their work and see first-hand the ability of British and American forces to operate alongside one another.
While in Norfolk, he also met senior NATO commanders to discuss UK-NATO collaboration, and had a chance to meet the more than 100 UK personnel stationed there – just some of the thousands of British personnel based in the US.