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.
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