American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2012 – In a meeting with his Norwegian counterpart yesterday, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta thanked Norway for its support in Afghanistan and its “steadfast commitment” to the NATO alliance, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
During his meeting with Norwegian Defense Minister Anne-Grete Strom-Erichsen, the secretary underscored the importance of Norway's involvement in alliance operations and praised Norway for expediting its acquisition of the F-35 joint strike fighter, Little said.
“The secretary highlighted the importance of defense spending and developing future alliance interoperability through the NATO Response Force,” the press secretary said. “Having both recently returned from visiting Turkey, the leaders discussed the upcoming NATO deployment of Patriot batteries and strong support for our ally,” he added. “They also discussed the strategic importance of access to the Arctic."