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

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

Sir, It is a great honor to have you in this interview. Thank you very much for accepting it.

Q 1: U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) is responsible for United States military commitments during peace and war across Europe, parts of Asia, the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean.

  • Can you tell us the necessary steps the USEUCOM has been taking  in the face of Russian invasion of Ukraine? And how effective do you see these measures?

U.S. European Command Spokesperson: To strengthen NATO and reassure our Allies, the United States has recently deployed additional forces to the USEUCOM area of responsibility and now has approximately 100,000 U.S. service members in Europe.

Personnel are being deployed to deter any potential aggression against NATO’s eastern flank and train with host-nation forces. We don’t have aggressive intent toward any country, including Russia and we do not seek confrontation. We want to reiterate that U.S. forces will not fight in Ukraine, but are positioned to defend NATO territory, adhering to our treaty commitments, if needed.

Additionally, NATO recently announced the activation of the NATO Response Force. The U.S. Department of Defense placed a range of multi-mission units in the United States and Europe on a heightened preparedness to deploy status, which increases our readiness to provide the U.S. contribution to the NRF on short notice.

As for effectiveness of these deployments, we have been successful in deterring Russia from weakening the NATO Alliance. Russia’s actions have only made the Alliance stronger. What this means is that we stand ready and postured for a range of contingencies to act swiftly when called upon by the President. We have made commitments to our NATO Allies to reinforce their defenses in the event of further Russian aggression, and we have followed through.

Q 2:  General Edward Vaughan, Deputy Director of Plans, Policy, Strategy and Capabilities at USEUCOM participated in the Black Sea Maritime Forum which took place in Romania in late February.

  • What importance the United States participation in this Forum signifies?

U.S. European Command Spokesperson: The Black Sea Maritime Forum was an important opportunity for leadership from the U.S., NATO, and Black Sea Allies and Partners to discuss regionally-focused security issues. This forum was planned prior to Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, however, Russia’s aggression has only underscored the importance of this forum and the collaboration and discussion that occurred there.

Q 3: Another important maritime event that took place in February was the integration of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) with two other European Naval Forces; the French carrier Charles de Gaulle’s (R 91) Task Force 473 and Italian carrier Cavour (C-550) strike groups in the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Please talk us through the strategic significance of this maritime integration and partnerships?

U.S. European Command Spokesperson: Tri-carrier operations between three allied aircraft  carrier strike groups strengthens high-end maritime integration and NATO Alliance maritime interchangeability.  These operations specifically enhance maritime domain awareness through information-sharing and provide naval crews and aircraft the opportunity to operate in relatively close water and airspace.

Building shared operational processes allows the NATO Alliance to integrate carrier strike group operations when and where needed to reassure NATO Allies and Partners and enhance the Alliance’s maritime warfare capability.

Q 4: The high-level meetings of the U.S. European Command and the Danish Defence Command were finalized early this month in military headquarters Kastellet in Copenhagen.

  • Please outline what terms and additional military cooperation have been affirmed in this agreement?

U.S. European Command Spokesperson: U.S. European Command and the Danish Defence Command recently held high-level staff talks focused on a variety of security cooperation issues. The United States and Demark cooperate closely to enhance security in the Arctic and Baltic regions. U.S. and Danish forces regularly exercise together and have operated alongside each other in during operations in Europe, Asia, Africa and in the Atlantic. Additionally, Denmark graciously hosts U.S. forces at Thule Air Base in Greenland. While no formal agreements were signed, these staff talks are just another example of the continued cooperation and partnership between the U.S. and Danish militaries.

Q 5: The last question is about the military partnerships between the U.S and Norway. At the beginning of 2022 the United States and Norway have reached a new milestone in security cooperation in the Arctic and High North region.

  • Could you elaborate on this new bilateral security cooperation, and the U.S Norwegian military partnership?

U.S. European Command Spokesperson: The close and continued partnership between the U.S. and Norwegian militaries is nothing new and spans more than 75 years. This close relationship is a testament to our shared ideals and commitment to peace and security in Europe. Each year, Norway sends more than 600 military members to the U.S. each year for training and educational exchange programs under the longest running military exchange partnership between any two nations.  Additionally, Norway has hosted up to 700 U.S. Marines for limited rotational training presence in Vaernes and Setermoen since 2017. This training improves the Marine Corps’ cold weather and mountain readiness in Arctic conditions and also enhances interoperability between U.S. and Norwegian forces.

As an example, more than 3,000 U.S. Marines are currently in Norway participating in Exercise Cold Response. They join some 30,000 military forces from 27 NATO Ally and Partner nations taking part in this Norwegian-led exercise. This is the ninth iteration of this multi-domain extreme cold weather exercise designed to enhance our collective military capabilities in the demanding arctic environment. Our participation in this exercise is another example of our close relationship with Norway and their leadership as NATO’s sentinel in the north.

Acknowledgments: Image-1 U.S flag ©U.S Air Forces Europe-Africa 2016. Image-2 USEUCOM and Denmark military staff talk advanced collective defense, March.04.2022 ©USEUCOM public affairs. The Interview is subject to Copyright Law. ©U.S. European Command/U.S. Army Europe and Africa /U.S Army/ U.S.NATO/U.S Europe World Affairs.