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NATO to establish new commands in U.S., Germany

  BRUSSELS, June 7 (Xinhua) -- NATO defense ministers agreed to establish two new commands in the United States and Germany, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

  Speaking at a press conference following the ministerial meeting, Stoltenberg announced that the new joint force command for the Atlantic will be based at Norfolk in the United States, and another new enabling command will be based in Ulm, Germany.

  "We are adapting the NATO command structure," Stoltenberg said, adding that, "Today, ministers agreed to strengthen the new command structure by more than 1,200 personnel."

  "These headquarters will be essential for Alliance reinforcements," he said.

  NATO's command structure was reduced to fewer than 7,000 staff in seven commands after the end of the Cold War.

  NATO defense ministers have decided to build commands to help protect trans-Atlantic sea lines, and support logistics and military mobility within Europe at their last meeting.

  The ministers meet on Thursday and Friday to make preparations for the upcoming NATO summit in July. They will discuss military readiness, burden sharing, NATO-EU cooperation, among other topics.