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Deputy Defense Secretary Begins Visit to Sweden, Belgium

April 25, 2016 | BY Cheryl Pellerin

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work yesterday began a weeklong trip to Sweden and Belgium to discuss regional security challenges and deliver remarks to members of the European Policy Committee on the Defense Department’s third offset strategy.

During his first stop in Stockholm he will have a bilateral meeting with Sweden’s Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist.

Afterward, he will hold discussions with defense and government leaders from Sweden and nearby nations about security challenges in the Baltic Sea region, U.S. regional cooperation and defense innovation and technology.

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work delivers remarks at the 32nd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo., April 12, 2016. DoD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Clydell Kinchen
Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work delivers Space Symposium speech on April 12, 2016. On April 24, 2016, Work began a weeklong trip to Sweden and Belgium to discuss regional security challenges and deliver remarks to members of the European Policy Committee on the Defense Department’s third offset strategy. DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Clydell Kinchen
Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work delivers remarks at the 32nd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo., April 12, 2016. DoD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Clydell Kinchen
Space Symposium Speech
Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work delivers Space Symposium speech on April 12, 2016. On April 24, 2016, Work began a weeklong trip to Sweden and Belgium to discuss regional security challenges and deliver remarks to members of the European Policy Committee on the Defense Department’s third offset strategy. DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Clydell Kinchen
Photo By: Sgt. 1st Class Clydell Kinchen
VIRIN: 160412-D-LN567-093

Later in the day, Work will participate in a U.S.-Nordic-Baltic plenary session of leaders from nations in the region on topics that include security challenges in Northern and Southern Europe and the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Regional Security

"Our partnership with the Nordic and Baltic countries underwrites U.S. military activities in the region and reflects our steadfast commitment to enhancing regional security,” Work said today in a statement.

In Sweden, he added, “I will participate in a U.S.-Nordic-Baltic meeting hosted by State Secretary [Jan] Salestrand. This follows the U.S.-Nordic deputies-level meeting held in Norway last September.”

Work said he expects most of the discussions to focus on regional security concerns, budgetary challenges and technology innovation.

“Separately,” he said, “I will tour Swedish military installations.”

Third Offset Strategy

In Belgium this week, Work will visit NATO headquarters in Brussels for a bilateral discussion with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and afterward will brief permanent representatives of the North Atlantic Council on the third offset strategy.

The strategy is a Defense Department effort to offset the strengths of potential great-power adversaries through leap-ahead technologies and innovative ways to use them.

“In Belgium,” Work said, “I'm looking forward to visiting NATO and participating in strategic discussions about national security policy generally, and specifically third offset strategy issues. In Brussels, I will deliver a speech to the European Policy Center about the third offset strategy."

The EPC is an independent nonprofit think tank established to foster European integration, according to the organization’s website.

Bilateral Meetings, Office Calls

Also in Belgium, Work will meet with Belgian Defense Minister Steven Vandeput and tour Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.

SHAPE is the strategic-level headquarters of Allied Command Operations, commanded by Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe and commander of U.S. European Command.

The deputy secretary also will call on Breedlove and British Army Gen. Sir Adrian John Bradshaw, NATO’s deputy supreme allied commander for Europe.

(Follow Cheryl Pellerin on Twitter: @PellerinDoDNews)