Monthly Archives: May 2021

U.S-NATO Member, Partner Nations’ Armed-Forces in Defender Europe 21

28,000 Multinational Participants of 26 Nations’ Armed Forces from:

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States with the U.S Army, U.S Navy, U.S Air Force in: Defender Europe 2021.

There are also participants of 2,100 National Guard from: Alabama, Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia added with 800 Army Reserve joining in this U.S-led military exercise from March until mid June when Defender 21 finalizes its activities and training  

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the continuation of the previous year, Defender Europe 2021 is to emphasize NATO’s Collective Defense. 
Its objectives underline: 

  • To train and exercise together for establishing the much higher scope of readiness;
  • To fortify the synchronous interoperability of U.S-NATO member and partner nations’ Armed–Forces.

Announced by the Army earlier this March, Defender 2021 also incorporates several linked exercises including: Swift Response, Immediate Response, Saber Guardian, Command Post Exercise.

More news: Defender Europe 2021, U.S Army Europe and Africa

Acknowledgments: Image: DEFENDER-Europe 21. Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division conduct static-line training with Royal Army soldiers from 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment. May  6, 2021 ©DoD/ U.S Army Europe and Africa/ Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Muncy.                                                  Sources: U.S Army Europe and Africa                By Editor in Chief  (Copyrighted material)

Special Edition Interview with the Spokesperson of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa

An exclusive Interview with Captain Erik Anthony, USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs Spokesperson, conducted by Editor in Chief.

Sir, it’s a great pleasure to have this interview with you. Thank you very much indeed for accepting our invitation. 

  • Q 1: Can you please describe the strategic mission and the intercontinental role of USAFE-AFAFRICA?

As the air component for both U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command, USAFE-AFAFRICA executes the Air Component missions with forward-based airpower and infrastructure to conduct and enable theater and global operations. USAFE-AFAFRICA directs air operations in a theater spanning three continents, covering more than 19 million square miles, and containing 104 independent states. Our mission is: “to forward project power across air, space and cyber domains, defend United States interests, demonstrate warfighting readiness, and forge partnerships in support of United States European Command and United States Africa Command Campaign objectives.”

  • Q 2:  How do you see the alignment of strategic security of the Baltic and Arctic region with USAFE-AFAFRICA’s mission?

The alignment of strategic security of the Baltic and Arctic regions is crucial to our mission. We remain committed to security throughout the Baltic and Arctic regions and a Europe that is whole, free, prosperous, and at peace. Strong relationships and continued interoperability with our allies and partners in these regions increases defense cooperation, improves the independent defense capabilities of Baltic nations and contributes to strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defense postures in the High North and on NATO’s Eastern Flank.

Through continued training, exercises and exchanges, we work alongside our allies and partners to build interoperability across all domains and bolster stability and security in the Baltics and in the Arctic. In recent years, the bonds between the U.S. and our friends in these regions have only grown stronger, and our long-standing relationships span a broad range of mutual security, economic, and global interests.

  • Q 3:  Was Spartan Warrior 20-9 also in the framework of NATO? Can one measure the achievement of operational objectives up to the present?

Yes. Spartan Warrior is a multinational exercise that strengthens distributed training capabilities among NATO nations. Spartan Warrior 20-9 utilized the USAFE-AFAFRICA Warfare Center’s facility and various facilities around the world. This allowed for robust simulation assets to introduce air and ground scenarios for U.S. and NATO participants. The scenarios tested the players’ abilities in countering threats while building cohesive protocol for real-world events.

Q 4: In mid-January, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa participated in a Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) with NATO allies and partners in the Black Sea region.

  •  Can you please discuss the most significant aspects of the JADC2 training?

It’s increasingly crucial that we maintain the decision advantage and turn data into information quicker. JADC2 seeks to create agile and resilient command and control systems, capable of operating through degraded environments. The inherent flexibility and capability of our forces, bolstered by JADC2, allow us to maintain the right presence where we need it, when we need it.

  • Q 5:  Please tell us about the recent BTF and its envisaged operational goals?

B-2 Spirit aircraft from the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, flew the final mission of the most recent Bomber Task Force deployment on March 25, 2021. This iteration of the BTF consisted of B-2s and B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

The B-1s accomplished a number of historic firsts and operational goals during this deployment. They were the first bomber to deploy to Norway, land in the Arctic Circle and land in Poland where they conducted the first hot-pit refuel of a B-1 in Europe, demonstrating a critical Agile Combat Employment capability. From Norway, the B-1s flew nine sorties, integrating with ally and partner assets to include Norwegian F-35 Lightning aircraft, Swedish JAS-39 Gripens, Danish F-16 Fighting Falcons, Polish F-16s and German and Italian Eurofighter Typhoons which also supported NATO’s Baltic Air Policing. The B-1s also worked alongside U.S. special operations forces to provide critical support to Norwegian and Swedish joint terminal attack controller training.

On March 16, B-2s joined this iteration of the BTF, flying their first of four missions in the High North. The B-2s integrated with the B-1s and the Norwegian F-35s that supported NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission off the coast of Iceland. The aircraft carried out complex operations at night after beginning the mission from three different bases on two continents. The sortie provided an opportunity for the aircraft to advance their cross-platform data-sharing capabilities, improving 5th generation interoperability.

Strategic bomber missions enhance the readiness of the U.S. Air Force, which is necessary to respond to any potential crisis or challenge across the globe.

  • Q 6: Could you also comment on the partnership of USAFE-AFAFRICA and the Norwegian Air Force?

The U.S. and Norway collaborate closely on many global, regional and bilateral issues. Norway is an exceptional NATO ally thanks to its investment in high-end capabilities and commitment to peace and stability in Europe and the Arctic. Norway generously contributes to regional leadership and global stability, to include serving as NATO’s sentinels in the North as well as its continuing support of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and the Defeat-ISIS Coalition.

Additional: Spartan Warrior 20-9: NATO strengthens air power

Acknowledgment: Image F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 492nd Fighter Squadron takes off for exercise Agile Liberty at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 19, 2021. ©U.S. Air Force/Airman Jacob Wood.                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Interview is subject to Copyright Law. ©U.S. European Command/ U.S Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces in Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA)/ U.S. Army Europe and Africa /U.S Army/ U.S Air Force/ U.S Europe World Affairs.

An Exclusive Interview with U.S. European Command-1 (Part-2)

An exclusive Interview with the Spokesperson of U.S. European  Command conducted by Editor in Chief (Part-2)

 

Q 4: Earlier in March in support of NATO Exercise “Dynamic Manta” and other operations, guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75)  provided overall defense for the “Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group” (CDG CSG) in the Mediterranean. 

  • Could you comment on the importance of this exercise in the pivotal context of the U.S- French military partnership?

In the beginning of March, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) provided multi-warfare defense to France’s Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group (CDG CSG) in the Mediterranean to support NATO Exercise Dynamic Manta and other operations. High-end integration is only facilitated through trust, sharing and cooperation. This level of operational interchangeability is unique to the NATO Alliance, and we maintain our asymmetric advantage through participation in exercises like Dynamic Manta, which takes place off the coast of Sicily.

This was not the first time the two vessels trained together. In 2019, USS Donald Cook joined CDG in exercise FANAL 19, which involved operations across all maritime warfare disciplines. In recent history, the U.S. Navy has worked side-by-side with the French Navy throughout the European and African theater of operation. In 2016, USS Ross (DDG 71) operated with CDG as part of Combined Task Force 473 in the Mediterranean. In April 2018, France, the UK and the U.S. conducted strikes into Syria in response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own people. In 2020, the Ross operated with CDG in eastern Mediterranean as part of Operations Chammal and Inherent Resolve, the overarching missions against the expansion of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

France is one of America’s oldest allies dating back to 1781 with their support in the U.S. Revolutionary War. This strong bond between our two nations reinforced our relationship and tested our joint combat skills during both World Wars. Today, this relationship continues in that great tradition of exceptional partnership between the U.S. and French militaries.

Q 5: USEUCOM maintains a crucial role in assisting allies and partner nations in the fight against Covid-19. 

  • Can you describe the measures USEUCOM has executed in this regard in the military and civilian arenas?

USEUCOM support to our Allies and partners during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has been unwavering and resolute. A mere nine days after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, USEUCOM’s crisis and humanitarian response professionals identified and facilitated the swift transfer of $150,000 worth of medical equipment and related supplies from a military warehouse in Livorno to hospitals and clinics throughout Italy. The first Italian assistance mission on March 20, 2021 was USEUCOM’s first formal support to NATO Allies during the pandemic.

Since then, the command has programmed more than $21 million in assistance across 24 European nations, spanning the continent from Latvia to Greece and the Czech Republic to Azerbaijan. From delivering personal protective equipment and sanitizing solutions for schools and assisted-living facilities to donating medical equipment for first responders, hospitals and clinics, USEUCOM personnel supported these life-saving efforts.

In addition, USEUCOM turned to its existing relationships established through the U.S. Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program (SPP.) The SPP pairs a U.S. state’s National Guard with a partner nation in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship.

In November 2020, a six-member National Guard medical team from U.S. states Texas and Nebraska deployed to their SPP partner nation, the Czech Republic, to provide medical support as that nation faced threatening levels of nationwide infection.

Two SPP nations also provided COVID-19 support to the United States, as two separate teams – one from Poland, the other Romania – deployed to the U.S. to provide support in their partner states.

News from:  U.S KFOR Regional Command East    U.S European Command

The Interview is subject to Copyright Law. ©U.S. European Command/U.S. Army Europe and Africa /U.S Army/ U.S Europe World Affairs. 

An Exclusive Interview with U.S. European Command-1 (Part-1)

An exclusive Interview with the Spokesperson of U.S. European Command conducted by Editor in Chief (Part-1)

Sir, we are greatly honored to have the occasion of this interview with you. Thank you very much for your time.

Q 1:  With your permission I would like to start with an overview of the U.S European Command, and the vital role it plays in European stability, security, and defense. 

  • Can you please tell us about USEUCOM, its mission, the strategic interests it represents? And the most recent developments in the status of its force posture.

U.S. European Command is one of 11 U.S. Department of Defense combatant commands, each with a geographic or functional mission that provides command and control of military forces in peace and war. Headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, USEUCOM’s mission is to execute a full range of multi-domain operations in coordination with Allies and partners to support NATO, deter Russia, assist in the defense of Israel, enable global operations and counter trans-national threats to defend the U.S. homeland and fortify Euro-Atlantic security.

USEUCOM plays an important role to meet the emergent challenges and opportunities in an era of great power competition as the U.S.’ principal military instrument in Europe.  Our presence in Europe provides the U.S. military with the strategic access vital to meet our NATO commitment to respond to threats against our Allies. With both permanent and rotational forces in Europe, we are better positioned to deter current and potential threats, assure our Allies and respond in a timely way should deterrence fail.

Our rotational forces allows for more flexibility to deter threats when and where they arise, and are deliberate and defensive in nature. We have established a joint, persistent rotational presence of air, land and sea assets in the region to support our Allies and deter Russia from aggressive actions in the European theater.

An example of our rotational force posture is the Marine Corps Rotational Force – Europe, which focuses on regional engagements throughout Europe by conducting various exercises, arctic cold-weather and mountain warfare training and military-to-military engagements, which enhance overall interoperability of the U.S. Marine Corps with our Allies and partners. Another example of our rotational forces is the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine (JMTG-U), which is the name given to the mission of training, equipping, training center development and doctrinal assistance to the Ukrainian armed forces.

In regards to our force posture in Europe, the U.S. Secretary of Defense recently announced that the U.S. will base an additional 500 U.S. Soldiers in Wiesbaden, Germany as part of two new units, a Multi-Domain Task Force and a Theater Fires Command. The Multi-Domain Task Force-Europe, expected to activate Sept.16, 2021, will be comprised of field artillery; composite air and missile defense; intelligence, cyberspace, electronic warfare and space; aviation and a brigade support element. The Theater Fires Command, expected to active Oct. 16, 2021, will improve readiness and multi-national interoperability by integrating joint and multi-national fires in exercises and operations, in support of U.S. Army Europe and Africa.

Additionally, the U.S. Army announced in February 2020 the reactivation of an additional corps headquarters, the historic V Corps, to be located in the United States at Fort Knox, Kentucky, with a forward command post in Europe. The V Corps Headquarters (Forward) was officially established in Poznan, Poland, Nov. 20, 2020. The primary mission of the new forward headquarters is to conduct operational planning, mission command and oversight of the rotational forces in Europe. It will also provide additional capability to support Allies and partners in the region.

  • Q 2:  With respect to building closer partnerships and strengthening NATO, what new complementary steps has USEUCOM envisioned to implement in the frame of its strategic planning for 2021 and beyond?

USEUCOM is deeply rooted in the common values and strong relationships between our European partners and NATO Allies. Our commitment to the NATO alliance is ironclad. We are committed to standing side-by-side with our Allies to ensure the independence, sovereign territory and security of NATO members.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, is dual-hatted as the USEUCOM commander and as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), one of NATO’s two strategic commanders. SACEUR is the head of Allied Command Operations and, as such, is responsible to the NATO Military Committee for the conduct of all NATO operations. Though these are two separate positions with distinct responsibilities, the fact that they are led by the same commander ensures that USEUCOM and NATO priorities are closely aligned.

 USEUCOM contributes to NATO’s success in a number of ways, and exercises are one of our more visible activities. Exercising with NATO and non-NATO partners demonstrates readiness, interoperability and capability. These exercises ultimately contribute to deterring our adversaries from threatening European security and the homeland. Additionally, NATO elements often participate in U.S.-led multinational exercises, such as Defender Europe and leaders from the two organizations regularly meet to ensure efforts are synchronized. One example of regular coordination is the yearly USEUCOM and NATO staff talks, which began in 2018 and strengthens transparency and understanding between the two organizations. Throughout 2021, we will continue to work alongside NATO and our Allies and partners to ensure the safety and security of the Euro-Atlantic.

Q 3: “DEFENDER-Europe 21” is considered as one of the most robust military exercises in the history of the U.S. Armed Forces in Europe and its NATO allies.  

  • Could you please elaborate on the significance of this exercise and its key central aspects?

DEFENDER-Europe 21 is a U.S. Army Europe and Africa-planned and executed multinational exercise. It demonstrates USAREUR’s ability to command and control large-scale ground operations across more than a dozen nations simultaneously.

Although DEFENDER-Europe 21 is a U.S. Army exercise, it will include significant involvement of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. Key ground and maritime routes bridging Europe, Asia and Africa will be utilized. Other high-end capabilities will be exercised, such as the new U.S. Army Security Force Assistance Brigades, air and missile defense assets and the recently reactivated V Corps.

In March, equipment and personnel began moving from the United States. In April, participating units will draw Army Prepositioned Stock from sites in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The bulk of training activities will occur in May and the exercise will conclude in June with the redeployment of U.S.-based forces and equipment.

 The exercise will build readiness and interoperability by exercising the command’s ability to integrate approximately 28,000 U.S., Allied and partner forces from 26 nations conducting concurrent exercises across more than 30 training areas.

DEFENDER-Europe 21 will demonstrate our ability to serve as a strategic security partner in the western Balkans and Black Sea regions, while sustaining our abilities in northern Europe, the Caucasus, Ukraine and Africa.

To be continued in part-2  on Wednesday May 5th 

News from:  U.S KFOR Regional Command East    U.S European Command

Acknowledgments: Image-1 U.S flag ©U.S Air Forces Europe-Africa 2016. Image-2 ©U.S Army Europe and Africa April 4, 2021.                                   The Interview is subject to Copyright Law. ©U.S. European Command/U.S. Army Europe and Africa /U.S Army/ U.S Europe World Affairs.