SEATTLE, WA: Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after concluding a bipartisan congressional delegation he led to key NATO allies Spain, Greece, Croatia, and Portugal for high-level engagements with senior military and civilian officials about transatlantic national security challenges.
“America’s broad network of allies and partners, especially in Europe, has made our country safer and more secure. I was pleased to meet with key defense leaders and heads of state in Spain, Greece, Croatia, and Portugal and reiterate my support for NATO and for the idea that our countries are all more prosperous and resilient when we uphold a shared vision for a rules-based international order. My conversations with these leaders also underscored that global support for the Ukrainian people in their fight against Putin’s war remains strong and deep – we are united in our commitment to stand with Ukraine and hold Putin accountable.
“For more than seven decades, NATO has served as the foundation for transatlantic security – and I needed no reminder throughout my visits that it remains as crucial as ever. When Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine began, the Alliance came together with speed, unity, and determination to support Ukraine, reassure NATO members in Eastern Europe, and deter further Russian aggression beyond Ukraine’s borders.”
“I would like to thank my colleagues for joining the delegation, the officials we met for their insights and perspectives, and staff across the U.S. government for supporting our visits.”
The delegation started in Rota, Spain, where members of the delegation observed a series of demonstrations by U.S. Naval Forces Europe and met with key military leaders. They then traveled to Souda Bay, Greece for a range of briefings and discussions with military and civilian officials, followed by a series of meeting in Athens with Greek diplomats, defense officials, and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The delegation then visited Zagreb, Croatia, where they met with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, senior advisors to President Zoran Milanović, foreign and defense officials, and members of the Croatian Parliament; members of the delegation also toured the UH-60 Black hawk program facility in Zagreb. The delegation concluded with convenings in Lisbon, Portugal, where they met with the Commander of U.S. Sixth Fleet and received briefings from Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO and the Maritime Analysis and Operations Center – Narcotics.