NEWS | Dec. 7, 2015

USSTRATCOM Strengthens Partnership with U.K. Ministry of Defence

By U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. – U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) commander, and other senior leaders in the command, met with U.K. Royal Air Force Air Marshal Phil Osborn, U.K. Chief of Defence Intelligence, at USSTRATCOM Headquarters on Dec. 3-4, as part the command’s ongoing effort to build and maintain enduring relationships with partner nations to confront the broad range of global challenges.

The visit supported discussions between USSTRATCOM and the U.K. Ministry of Defence (U.K. MOD) senior leaders about enhancing integration between the two organizations.

“The U.K. and U.S. are staunch allies and Air Marshal Osborn’s visit to USSTRATCOM is another visible example of our strong relationship,” Haney said. “Working closely with our international partners is essential for confronting the challenges presented by an increasingly complex strategic and operational environment.”

Osborne agreed, adding that the partnership shared by the two nations “is something that is founded on a whole host of things, which include history and shared aims and objectives.”

“Most importantly, it’s founded on trust,” he said.

While here, Osborn met with Haney and subject matter experts within the command for a series of discussions on topics of common interest, including security issues, integration and intelligence.

“Our safety and security depends not just on our own efforts, but on our ability to work with allies against common threats and towards common goals,” Osborn said.

As the U.K.’s Chief of Defence Intelligence, Osborn oversees mission areas related to those of USSTRATCOM, including cyber and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR).

“This is and remains vitally important work, particularly in today’s ever more complex defence and security environment,” he said. “I would argue that it’s as complex and uncertain as it has been for a long time.”

Osborn noted that the U.K.’s recent Defence and Security Review also pointed to an increasingly complex world before emphasizing the need for continued collaboration and cooperation.

“In the intelligence domain, our ability to work together, train together and have open and honest conversations, and then deal with those shared threats and take those shared opportunities is the heart of both of our military capabilities,” he said.

Osborn’s visit is one of many recent activities in which Haney and senior USSTRATCOM leaders have engaged with international partners to enhance interoperability and strengthen partnerships.

In November, Haney hosted German Army Brig. Gen. Dirk H. Backen, defense attaché at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Royal Australian Navy Vice Adm. Raymond J. Griggs, Vice Chief of the Australian Defence Force, during their respective visits to USSTRATCOM’s headquarters.

Haney also traveled to the U.K. in January 2015 to meet with senior leaders including U.K. Royal Air Force Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, U.K. Vice Chief of Defence Staff, who hosted Haney and members of his staff during their visit. While there, Haney held discussions with U.K. Royal Marines Lt. Gen. Gordon Messenger, U.K. Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Military Strategy and Operations); Mr. Peter Watkins, U.K. MOD's Director General for Security Policy; and U.K. Royal Navy Rear Adm. Paul Bennett, Joint Forces Command chief of staff.

“Our international partners and allies are essential to strategic deterrence and ensuring global and regional stability,” Haney said. “U.S. Strategic Command’s missions are global, and so too must be our partnerships. I am thankful for the latest opportunity to work with outstanding partners like the U.K. Ministry of Defence and officers like Air Marshal Osborn.”