STUTTGART, Germany – The U.S. European Command and Finnish Defence Forces co-hosted Northern Europe Chiefs of Defense Conference kicks off today in Helsinki, Finland.
The two-day event brings together military leaders from 12 nations to discuss the security environment and its challenges in northern Europe and the Baltic Sea region while promoting dialogue and mutual understanding between the countries in attendance.
“Meetings with colleagues from partner countries provide a good opportunity to discuss topics of common interest,” said Gen. Timo Kivinen, commander of the Finnish Defence Forces. “This will improve our situational awareness and also provide an opportunity to bring up considerations important from the Finnish perspective.”
Defense cooperation between northern European nations, the U.S., and Allies and partners throughout Europe remains strong. This cooperation builds defense capabilities and interoperability between nations and enhances the ability to collectively respond to a variety of threats if they arise.
"The strategic importance of the high north and Baltic regions cannot be understated," said U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, commander, U.S. European Command. "Our northern European Allies and Partners are highly capable and have diverse operational experience that contributes immensely to the security of the Euro-Atlantic."
The conference was originally scheduled for 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.