Norwegian chief of defense defines global stability

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- General Harald Sunde, Chief of Defense of Norway, meets with Team Minot Security Forces personnel here, Aug. 15. The general expressed his appreciation to all the Airmen of Team Minot for the strategic deterrence they provide. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Desiree Esposito)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- General Harald Sunde, Chief of Defense of Norway, meets with Team Minot Security Forces personnel here, Aug. 15. The general expressed his appreciation to all the Airmen of Team Minot for the strategic deterrence they provide. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Desiree Esposito)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- General Harald Sunde, Chief of Defense of Norway, and his wife Mrs. Solvi Sunde are greeted by Col. James Dawkins Jr., 5th Bomb Wing commander; Col. Robert Vercher, 91st Missile Wing commander, and their spouses here, Aug.15. Sunde had a firsthand look at both the 5th BW and 91st MW deterrence missions. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stephanie Ashley)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- General Harald Sunde, Chief of Defense of Norway, and his wife Mrs. Solvi Sunde are greeted by Col. James Dawkins Jr., 5th Bomb Wing commander; Col. Robert Vercher, 91st Missile Wing commander, and their spouses here, Aug.15. Sunde had a firsthand look at both the 5th BW and 91st MW deterrence missions. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stephanie Ashley)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- General Harald Sunde, Chief of Defense of Norway, visited Team Minot to observe the nuclear deterrence mission, Aug 15.

The general said he did not hesitate to accept the opportunity to meet with Airmen when asked by someone at the Pentagon if he was interested in making the trip here.

"As the chief of defense for my nation I wanted to personally say thank you to the troops that contribute so much to global stability," Sunde said. "This is such an important job that they are doing here and I wanted to let them know they are not forgotten."

The general's military career spans over 40 years and even from his initial duties as a lieutenant he remembers working alongside U.S. troops during military exercises.

He explained that for decades they have been fighting shoulder to shoulder alongside U.S. and NATO troops in several campaigns, including in Iraq and Libya, and with all the engagements it is easy to forget the strategic importance of nuclear deterrence.

"Nuclear deterrence is a cornerstone to global stability," said Sunde. "Strategic stability is what has allowed us to also support other nations and their people the way we have done."

Even with an ever changing world and new threats arising in both the physical and cyberspace environments, he feels that for global stability, strategic nuclear stability has to remain a top priority because of the influence and power it holds.

"Norway is a small nation. We are a member of NATO, and we share the pleasure of being under the umbrella of nuclear deterrence so we can enjoy peace and stability," stated Sunde.

He alluded to the importance of nuclear non-proliferation.

In today's world, international regulations and treaties oversee nuclear stability said the general, yet nonetheless it is the responsibility of all state leaders around the world not to proliferate nuclear weapons.

"We have to hope that one day we will come further in the disarmament and reduction of nuclear weapons," Sunde said.

However, the professionalism of the military members in charge of ensuring the deterrence mission is proof of the fact that nuclear deterrence can continue to work, he stated.

"I am impressed with everyone here all the way down from the cook to the leaders and general. They are all a professional team," said Sunde referring to Team Minot Airmen and Air Force Global Strike Command's leaders.

He said he will always view the U.S. military as part of an international family.

"Wherever you meet U.S. Military on this planet, you can trust them," said Sunde. "As long as we wear our uniforms we are one family and we have one mission. We are one team."