Monthly Archives: September 2016

The U.S Naval Forces in Europe-Africa/1

As a crucial partner with NATO, the U.S Naval Forces in Europe-Africa have a central part in establishing and re-enforcing the Maritime Security in European Waters, the Mediterranean Sea….. and to the Oceans far beyond. 


September 14, 2016 © U.S Mission to NATO 

News from U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria
News from US Naval Forces Europe-Africa
News from U.S Air Force Europe-Africa                     News from Strong Europe U.S Army Europe 

Belgium’s Candidacy for the UN Security Council: UN Peacekeeping

logo-belgium-un-security- council Protected by Copyright LAW      Fostering Consensus, Acting for Peace



As an original founders of the United Nations, in 1945 Belgium signed the UN Charter along with 50 other countries.  And since then it has been actively engaged in contributing to Peace and Security in Europe and in the World. Its role has been, not limited, but also covers the critical areas of Conflict Management, Mediation and Peacebuilding within the UN.

Only in 2015  Belgium has contributed $ 85 million to UN Peacekeeping operations. And it had participated in 71 UN Peacekeeping missions deployed since 1948.

News from MFA of Belgium                                News from Belgian Armed-Forces 
News from Belgium Mission to the UN

U.S saluted Norway for its crucial Military leadership in Europe, NATO and beyond

On September 8th  Secretary of Defense Ash Carter traveled to Norway and met with Norwegian Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Søreide.  During this trip Secretary Carter with Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide also visited the Bodo Air Base and was given the presentation of Norwegian Military capabilities.

Norway is a Strong, Indispensable U.S. Security Partner bilaterally, within NATO, in the North Atlantic and Arctic, in Afghanistan and as part of the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.” elaborated  Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in the press conference. Norway September 8, 2016 © DoD 



Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Norwegian Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Soreide met with Norwegian F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots  at Bodo Air Base, Norway, September 8, 2016 © DoD 

The Secretary of Defense continued:

“Norway is already one of eight NATO nations spending at least 20 percent of its defense budget on equipment and it’s investing in new capabilities that will strengthen both Norway’s national defense and NATO,”

 “Norway will contribute a company to NATO’s Persistent Enhanced Forward Presence Battalion in Lithuania. In Afghanistan, Norwegian personnel make important contributions to NATO’s Resolute Support mission as mentors to Afghan security personnel and as first responders, especially after the recent attack on the American University in Kabul.”

The Secretary of Defense concluded:  “Thanks to leaders like Minister Søreide and its professional and principled military personnel,” Norway “will continue to play a leading role in bolstering collective security and making a better world for all of us.” September 8, 2016 © DoD 

Additional:  Carter Salutes Norway as Strong, Indispensable Security Partner

Source: DoD/Cheryl Pellerin

The United States new commitment to Israel

The United States has made an unprecedented commitment and security assistance for Israel.  The new measure encompasses 38 Billion U.S dollars for the Israeli Armed Forces from 2019-2028. 

For as long as the State of Israel has existed, the United States has been Israel’s greatest  friend  and partner, a fact underscored again today. This commitment to Israel’s security has been unwavering and is based on a genuine and abiding concern for the welfare of the Israeli people and the future of the State of Israel.” President Obama September 14, 2016 

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The U.S- European Armed-Forces in Exercise Combined Resolve VII

The U.S Army’s European Rotational Force with over 15  European States are participating in one of the biggest U.S-European Multinational joint training: Exercise Combined Resolve VII.                                              The exercise has been held from August 8 to September 15 in southeastern Germany with the participation of  3,500 soldiers from the Armed-Forces of:   Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and the United States.






September 13, 2016 © US Army Europe/U.S Mission to NATO


Formulated in four stages the Exercise intends:

  • To provide the Raiders Brigade with multinational training and partnership;
  • To  enhance the flexibility;
  • To enhance the agility and ability to better operate alongside NATO allies and partners in Europe. © Described by the U.S 7th Army Training Command 

News from  the US 7th Army Training Command                                                                                                                              News from U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria                                                                                                                                                       News from US Naval Forces Europe-Africa                                                                                                                                               News from US Air Force Europe-Africa                                                                                                                                                   News from Strong Europe US Army Europe  

Source: US Army Europe/ the US 7th Army Training Command 

The United Kingdom’s leadership in the UN Peacekeeping Missions


Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon hosted a UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in London on 8 September 2016. The participants from 80 countries agreed to provide more supports for the UN Peacekeeping missions and the Humanitarian interventions.

The objectives of the conference: 

  • To improve the planning of peacekeeping operations – so the UN can better match requirements to capabilities;
  • To implement the pledges made back in September – to guarantee the UN can continue to field its force in the future;
  • To up the performance of peacekeepers so UN forces are: better-led and better-trained; better balanced – with more women participating; and more capable of protecting civilians on the ground – including by implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda and preventing incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse.  Announced by the UK MOD Sep 7 2016 
  1. Additional: Opening Speech by Secretary of State for Defence The Rt Hon Michael Fallon 
  2. Speech delivered by Baroness Anelay, Minister of State for the UN, at the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in London on 8 September 2016

Follow news from Foreign Office
News from Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond  
Follow news from UK Armed-Forces

Days of Remembrance and Prayers for September 11 2001


The memorial service for 15th Anniversary of September 11 held by the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY).  September 10, 2016 © FDNY

Proclaimed by President Obama from September 9 to September 11 — the days of Remembrance and Prayers for September 11, 2001.

On September 11, 2001, a group of small and hateful minds conspired to threaten the very fiber of our country, seeking to break the American spirit and destroy our way of life. From the Atlantic to the Pacific, Americans were struck with grief as devastation and senseless loss of innocent human life unfolded. In the empty shadow of the World Trade Center, the remains of the Pentagon, and a charred Pennsylvania field where courageous passengers saved countless lives, what emerged from the ashes of that day was not defeat — it was the heroism, compassion, and unity of the American people, which no act of terror or hate could ever take away. On September 11, we recall the true spirit of our Nation following these heinous attacks, and we resolve to enshrine the enduring compassion and love of our people forever in the heart of America.”  Presidential Proclamation National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, 2016 © The White House

Presidential Proclamation National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, 2016

The United States Navy in Operation Atalanta-2

US naval Europe Africa May 22, 2016


The United States Military Sealift Command  (MSC)  is a Military Naval Agency to support transportation for the U.S Navy at seas and oceans.   Its history goes back to the second world war– even though at that time the MSC was not established as the independent agency.  A few years later in 1949 the formation of  the Military Sea Transportation Service, as a distinguished agency,  was materialized to provide ocean transportation support for the U.S Department of Defense.     the-aircraft-carrier-uss-dwight-d-eisenhower-and-usns-john-ericsson-t-ao-194-us-navy






In the years followed the 1949,  the role of Military Sealift Command (MSC), developed and commenced to project itself more significantly.  Its operations continue to insert the vital support,  not only to the United States Navy but also for NATO Allies–encompassing from the Cold War era, the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan missions– and to the most ongoing operations of the present time, inter alia, the  NATO and EU in the counter-piracy.

In the recent years with much synchronized joint efforts of the U.S and European Naval Forces in the various global missions, the MSC also has notably expanded its supporting tasks to the European Naval Forces. In this effort one of its main tasks is for Replenishment At Sea (RAS).  The recent MSC statistic report describes that at the present time there are approximately 110 ships on a daily basis operating on support mission across the globe.

On August 30, the EU NAVFOR flagship HNLMS Tromp,  after intense days and weeks of maritime security operation in the Indian Ocean and gulf of Aden, had to be refueled for the continuation of its crucial mission at seas.                                                                                                                                                                               For that the U.S  fleet replenishment oiler  USNS John Ericsson  was tasked for administering the replenishment.   In the ensuing early hours of the day, the grand ship of  U.S Navy ……. had to reach the mathematically determined point to the Dutch frigate– for executing  ‘the Alongside Connected Replenishment’– on a rapid and precise mode.                                                                                                                

Shortly after–  the colossal ship drifted away….. and sailed  ……into distance for its next mission.          

Yet this was not the first,  nor will be the last,  that the Military Sealift Command of the U.S Navy stood as the vital lifeline for the EU Naval missions be it in any parts of the World, when urgency and support has been called.   Its role even though as the supporting task remained to be highly essential– for without MSC the continuation of any operations will not be possible, especially the maritime security  and the counter-piracy in the oceans.





Frigate HNLMS Tromp (right) approaches USNS John Ericsson to be refueled. August 30, 2016 © EU NAVFOR                                                                                                                                                       


  1. Additional:  The United States Navy in Operation Atalanta-1
  2. The USNAVAF and  EU  NAVFOR for the first contact  between Operation ATALANTA  and the US Command responsible for the US Naval Forces in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Image-1:  The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) alongside the fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) in Arabian Guld. July 26, 2016  © U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Joshua Murray.                                                                                                                  Sources: US Navy/EU NAVFOR      

 By Catherine Stella Schmidt (Copy righted material)                                                                                

The United States Armed Forces and its new Strategic Concept in Europe




While still the state and non -state sponsored adversarial threats are posing challenges to the security and stability of European landscape –the United States has audibly in many ways, reaffirmed its commitment to Europe.

Albeit with the less number of its troops, yet with the deployable rotational forces, the U.S has promised for a long stay, to defend and fortifies its European partners.

Coextending with that– the United States military has conceptualized a new strategic planning which empowers the U.S with the 30,000 troops, and the stepped up rotational forces, to maintain the same efficacy of 300,000 boots on the grounds.

With this new military concept of the Department of Defense formulated in the recent years as ‘The European Reassurance Initiative (ERI)’ signed by President Obama  in December 2014, the U.S conveys explicitly and forthright that its Armed-Forces will always be part of European allies and provide every assurance for European Security and Defense.                                    

With that the U.S Armed Forces in Europe has redefined its vision, role– reshaping its partnerships with the European counterparts into a new level of political and military proximity and closeness.

Under the same scheme, the U.S European Command has intensified, in the recent years, its engagement in preparing and upgrading the European Armed Forces from south and the Black sea to the northern European hemisphere the Baltic sea– to the highest military architectural format—effectively interoperable with the U.S military in any operational environments.

The new strategic planning in Europe encompasses a wide range of trainings, joint maneuvers and exercises which are formulated to increase:

  • The interoperability of U.S-European Armed-Forces;
  • Modernization of European military weaponry equipment, technology and technique;
  • Advancement and the upgrade of European military capabilities from air to the cyber- space.

The planning goes further with a special focus to bolster:

  • European capability for deterrence;
  • Their strength and their combat power, simultaneously.

This new concept and its wide-scope of applicable approach– has also inaugurated a new chapter towards the standardization of U.S-European Armed-Forces, enabling them to prepare and maintain the high readiness for countering the global crisis, in a curtailed frame of time yet with the most effective measures in place.

“We will be always going to be part of Coalition if not Alliance. All our best and most reliable Partners come from Europe whether NATO or Partnership for Peace Countries.  So the Chance  for practice with them is a great opportunity to continue to build the trust with them” Excerpts from the statement Commanding General of U.S Army Europe, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges.  In the interview during the NATO Exercise, Norway March 2016.

By Catherine Stella Schmidt   (Copyrighted material)


The Kingdom of the Netherlands and Israel an enduring partnership

On his official trip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Netherlands and met with HRH King Willem-Alexander at the Noordeinde Palace in the Hague and with Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The meeting was to bond a deeper political, diplomatic, innovation and economic relations between the two countries.                                                                                                                                                                                                           During this trip  Prime Minister Netanyahu also met with Senate President, House of Representatives Speaker,  and members of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee of Dutch Parliament. 

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