Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci emerged from a NATO meeting Friday with a statement of support for President Reagan's visit to Moscow and a commitment to pay for the transfer of a U.S. fighter-bomber wing from Spain to Italy.
The defense ministers closed their two-day semi-annual meeting by issuing a communique giving "the full support and solidarity of the alliance" to Reagan's trip to Moscow for a summit meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Reagan arrives for the summit Sunday after a three-day visit in Helsinki, Finland."Despite the Soviet statements, despite their rhetoric, we have yet to see any change in Soviet force structure or in their massive funding for their military efforts," Carlucci said.
The final communique also said the ministers commissioned a working group to review how member states' defense efforts "might be better focused" and said the group would report to the next session in December.
Carlucci said the NATO decision to pay for the estimated $500 million transfer of 72 U.S. F-16s with NATO funds rather than American funds alone was a positive example of burden-sharing.