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    Military Commanders Rejoice at New NATO Members Amid Huge Joint Exercise and Russia’s Looming Shadow

    Military Commanders Rejoice at New NATO Members Amid Huge Joint Exercise and Russia's Looming Shadow

    ABOARD the Norwegian Coast Guard Vessel Bjørnøya — U.S., Finnish and Norwegian military officials flanked a representative from the newest member, Sweden, on Friday as congratulations were shared and remained top of mind.

    Sweden officially joined NATO on Thursday, ending centuries of neutrality, amid the largest NATO exercise since 1988. It was a clear sign to the Kremlin that its full-scale invasion of has not gone unmet, and that Nordic countries — along with the U.S. and other NATO allies — are prepared to defend their own borders.

    U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Doug Perry, the commander of one of NATO's three operational hubs, was in attendance aboard a Norwegian ship off the coast of Alta, , where U.S. and NATO allies are holding a major exercise, Nordic Response 2024. He told reporters that Sweden's accession to the alliance was critical to deterring Russia from further destabilizing the continent, something that members of the Swedish armed forces told Military.com they agreed with.

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    “NATO's adversaries and potential adversaries should and — I'm certain — are taking note,” Perry said. “We're capable, we are ready and we are willing to defend every inch of our allied territory.”

    Lt. Gen. Carl-Johan Edström, chief of joint operations for the Swedish Armed Forces, hailed Sweden's accession to NATO not as…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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