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Adm. Foggo Commemorates Battle of Atlantic Ahead of Trident Juncture Events in Iceland

October 16, 2018 at 5:46 PM UTC
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Nelson

Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic in Faxa Bay, Iceland, aboard the Icelandic Coast Guard Vessel Thor, Oct. 16, 2018.


NATO commemorates Battle of the Atlantic as US forces arrive in Iceland

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign during World War II and involved the naval blockade of Germany the day after the declaration of war.

“Today we commemorate the turning of the Battle of the Atlantic, and pay homage to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for us and our children,” said Foggo.  “To the nation of Iceland, your countrymen paid a high price… and today we remember them and give our thanks for their sacrifice and our thanks to the people of Iceland who stood, with unwavering commitment, alongside the allies.”

The Icelandic Minister of Foreign Affairs Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson delivered remarks during the ceremony and joined Foggo in placing a wreath into the bay followed by a moment of silence.

“The Battle of the Atlantic was one of the most important battles of the Second World War," said Thordarson. "The allies would hardly have won the war without gaining superior position on the ocean.” 

This battle was not without sacrifices and we are remembering that today. However, at the same time we also remember how crucial unimpeded shipping routes over the Atlantic are for Iceland. That was certainly the case 75 years ago and it still applies today,” he continued.

The battle involved thousands of ships and covered millions of square miles of ocean.

“The battle was won by the entire peoples of the United Nations,” said Foggo, quoting a passage from “The Battle of the Atlantic,” a British book about the battle. “It was the triumph of right over evil – the calm determination of men and women of many different races, languages, and creeds, no matter what the personal sacrifice, to prevent the domination and enslavement of the world.”

While in Iceland, Foggo will observe Trident Juncture events and meet with Icelandic government officials.

NATO and its partners will take part in exercise Trident Juncture. The exercise, hosted by Norway, will include around 50,000 personnel from 29 NATO countries, as well as Finland and Sweden, and will test NATO’s collective response to an armed attack against one ally, invoking Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6thFleet, headquartered in Naples, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.