An Exclusive Interview with U.S Army Europe and Africa-3 (Part-1)

An exclusive interview with U.S. Army Europe and Africa Spokesperson. Conducted by U.S Europe World Affairs Editor in Chief.

 

It’s a great pleasure to have you in this interview Sir. Thank you for your time.

Q 1. In November 2020 the department of Army announced to consolidate the U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Army Africa into a single Army Service Component Command. What are the immediate and the long-term strategic interests for this consolidation? And please cast a light on the missions of this new (USAREUR-AF) structure?

U.S Army Europe and Africa Spokesperson:  The U.S. Army recently announced the consolidation of U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Army Africa into one Army Service Component Command. This is an exciting change, and it’s a change that will allow the U.S. Army to expand its focus and enhance its commitment to both the European and African continents.

This consolidation is an example of how the U.S. Army is modernizing, we are thinking across hemispheres rather than artificially dividing problem sets. But this is not just a consolidation of a headquarters, it’s a consolidation of capabilities across theaters.

The European and African theaters are inextricably linked. Their close geography and economic ties suggest a regional security issue left unchecked could quickly spread between both continents.

The consolidation will also allow greater synchronization for European-centric issues, such as migration from Africa, as well as Africa-centric issues such as operations with NATO allies on the continent.

In addition, this consolidation enables the dynamic shifting of forces and assets from one theater to another, which improves our global and regional contingency response time; and optimizes  command and control of all U.S. land forces.

Our new combined headquarters will provide the administrative backbone and strategic-level guidance for all land forces in both Europe and Africa.

This will enable the Southern European Task Force – Africa, or SETAF-AF, to spend every day  focused on enhancing regional security and stability by working with our African, international and interagency partners.

SETAF-AF will continue direct support to AFRICOM, remain in Italy and retain its current strength of military and civilian personnel. It is responsible for all Army operations and assets in Africa and Italy, to eventually include the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and will focus on its mission as the nucleus of a joint task force for operations on the African continent. Likewise, the newly re-activated V Corps will assume much of the operational and tactical-level command, control and planning functions in Europe. 

V Corps, with a headquarters in Poland, will allow U.S. land forces to support more exercises and training opportunities with our allies and partners, increasing readiness and our ability to deter potential adversaries.

Q 2. Covering 4,000 kilometers, with the participation of 15 NATO states and 2 partner  countries, the U.S-led Defender-Europe-20 was designed as the third-largest military exercise in European continent since the Cold War. What was the core military concept behind this exercise? 

With the challenges of COVID-19 in 2020, how far the Army was able to implement the exercise and achieve its goal?

U.S Army Europe and Africa Spokesperson:  At its heart, DEFENDER-Europe 20 was designed as a deployment exercise to build strategic  readiness in support of the U.S. National Defense Strategy and NATO deterrence objectives. It  clearly demonstrated the U.S.’ steadfast commitment to NATO and our ability and willingness to deploy a large, combat-credible force to Europe to respond to crisis. Furthermore, it demonstrated the unity of the Alliance and strengthened our relationships with our allies and partners across the theater.  

    In October 2019, the U.S. Army announced that 20,000 U.S. Soldiers would deploy to Europe in spring 2020 as part of exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20. In February 2020, equipment and personnel from the U.S. began arriving in Europe. In March, COVID-19 hit and forced major modifications to the exercise in both size and scope. At that time, more than 6,000 Soldiers and 3,000 pieces of equipment had already arrived in Europe.

The U.S. Army Soldiers that arrived in Europe at the end of February and early March were here as part of exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20. Phase I of the modified DEFENDER-Europe 20 was linked exercise Allied Spirit, which took place at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland, June 5-19, with approximately 6,000 U.S. and Polish Soldiers. In Phase II of the modified DEFENDER-Europe 20, a U.S.-based combined arms battalion conducted an Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise to Europe July 14 and Aug. 22.

 Q 3. Will there be the continuation of Defender Europe in 2021 and beyond?

U.S Army Europe and Africa Spokesperson: Yes, DEFENDER-Europe 20 was the first of what we anticipate will become an annual exercise. We are currently planning for DEFENDER-Europe 21, which will focus on building operational readiness and interoperability with a greater number of NATO allies and partners over a wider area of operations.

DEFENDER-Europe 21 is still in the planning stages. We anticipate a public announcement in March, with activities beginning in April and the bulk of activities occurring in May and June.

To be continued in part-2 early next week 

News from:  U.S KFOR Regional Command East             

KFOR Regional Command East Religious Support Teams                     NATO-KFOR

Acknowledgment: Image ©U.S Army/CW5 Pennie Temmerman and Kara Stetson, March 12, 2020

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

U.S National Guard State Partnership Program-3 Iowa National Guard

The National Guard’s State Partnership Program (SPP) aspires to accentuate on building mutual, and enduring relationships between the National Guard states and territories with the partner countries. Under this program, the United States provides a wide range of assistance and aids to the partner countries, including: 

  • Capacity building;
  • Military and security training;
  • Helping to establish and develop the democratic and accountable civil and governmental institutions and offices;
  • Public safety; 
  • Assisting in economic development and growth.

©The National Guard

The Iowa National Guard and its SPP with Kosovo dates back to 2011. The partnership’s goals are additionally in the fields of military and security cooperation, education, economic and business development in both public and private sectors, agriculture and market. Along with this program, the Iowa National Guard has been serving in  KFOR , the NATO-led Operation for peace and stability in Kosovo since 1999.                                                                         

As the recent fruition of this partnership, in January 2021 the government of Kosovo signed a memorandum to deploy the Kosovo Security Force to missions overseas jointly with the IOWA National Guard.

More news on Iowa National Guard its SPP with Kosovo: 

News from:  U.S KFOR Regional Command East                Iowa National Guard                            KFOR Regional Command East Religious Support Teams                     NATO-KFOR

By Editor in Chief (Copyrighted material)
*Acknowledgment: The historical facts in this article are from U.S National Guard, Iowa National Guard, U.S Army. 

An Exclusive Interview with U.S Army KFOR Regional Command East

An exclusive interview with MAJ. Sam K. Otto, Spokesperson of the Public Affairs, U.S Army KFOR Regional Command East. Conducted by U.S Europe World Affairs Editor in Chief.

Sir, it is a great honor to have you with us in this interview. Thank you very much.

Q: Since 1999 KFOR has been the pillar of security and stability in Kosovo. Could you give us an overall picture of KFOR mission and the crucial role that the U.S Army holds in it.

MAJ. Sam K. Otto, Spokesperson of the Public Affairs: The US along with NATO and Allied partners are leading a peace support operation in Kosovo to build peace and stability in the area. Under the authority of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 KFOR’s mission is to contribute to a safe and secure environment, support the development of a stable, democratic, multi-ethnic and peaceful Kosovo, support and coordinate the international humanitarian effort and civil presence in the region. Regional Command East (RC-E) is the US led team responsible for the KFOR mission in the eastern part of Kosovo. This team includes aviation, medical, and forces capable of monitoring the safety and security of Kosovo citizens along with providing a response if needed.

Q: In the last two decades the United States has been the major contributor in NATO-led KFOR operation. Please enlighten us about the U.S posture in KFOR at the present time, and its achievements in this mission so far.

MAJ. Sam K. Otto, Spokesperson of the Public Affairs: The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division from the Iowa Army National Guard is supporting NATO and operating as the US led multinational Regional Command East headquarters for KFOR. The US team is comprised of Soldiers from the Michigan, Maryland, Delaware and Washington National Guard along with US Army Reserve and Active Duty troops from Fort Hood, Texas. Our priority is to provide a safe and secure environment to build peace and stability in the area and let the people of Kosovo have freedom of movement throughout the region. Every Soldier in KFOR whether it be US, NATO or Allied Forces stand ready if called upon by the institutions of Kosovo as a third responder after the Kosovo Police and EULEX. We have full faith and confidence in the Kosovo Police, which is a fully capable force, in enforcing the rule of law throughout Kosovo.

 

 

 

 

 

Q: Iowa National Guard has a State Partnership Program with Kosovo. How the significant impacts of this partnership could be described at the military and local levels?

MAJ. Sam K. Otto, Spokesperson of the Public Affairs: The Iowa National Guard and Kosovo are state partners. There are many cities in Kosovo who have sister cities in Iowa. However, under the current mission, the forward deployed Iowa National Guard Soldiers are here to support NATO and contribute to regional security, promote stability, and ensure everyone feels safe and secure in the area. While operating under a NATO headquarters the relationship is limited between the Soldiers deployed in Kosovo with the institutions of Kosovo from a military standpoint. Some of our leadership and Soldiers have been to Kosovo before which helps with knowing the area and they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that assists in our current mission.

Q: In April 2020 the U.S.-led Kosovo Force Regional-Command East, delivered personal protective equipment to North and South Mitrovica. Could you tell us more about the role of U.S Army in mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic in region?

MAJ. Sam K. Otto, Spokesperson of the Public Affairs: Although the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division arrived in November to Kosovo, KFOR has assisted the institutions of Kosovo to deliver personal protective equipment to some of the local population and health care facilities. Restrictions were placed for the safety of our Soldiers and also for the population to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks have been required, gatherings have been limited to essential personnel only, hand sanitizer was been distributed and encouraged to use regularly. RC-East never wavered in our ability or readiness to accomplish our mission of providing a safe and secure environment, but we did have to modify how we conducted meetings and took more precautions to protect our force and the local people we have to interact with.

 

 

KFOR Chaplains were hosted for lunch by the KFOR Command Team, Major General Franco Federici and Command Sergeant Major Andrea Torre. Left to Right: Chaplain Cory Van Sloten (USA), Command Sergeant Major Andrea Torre (Italy), Chaplain Stephano Tollu (Italy), Chaplain Steve De Haan (USA), Major General Franco Federici (Italy), Chaplain Lukasz Siedlecki (Poland), Chaplain László Nanai (Hungary), Chaplain Joshua Twiest (USA). January 21, 2021©U.S Army KFOR RC East

 Q: Among many other outstanding tasks that the U.S Army has been performing in KFOR is its Regional Command East Religious Support Team. The KFOR RC-E Religious Support Team  has been not only a special place for the multination partners in KFOR but also a place for promoting the interfaith dialogs in support of peace and stability in Kosovo. Could you please elaborate on this U.S Army-led humanitarian effort. 

MAJ. Sam K. Otto, Spokesperson of the Public Affairs: Regional Command East’s Religious Support Team is led by Chaplain (Maj.) Cory Van Sloten who meets regularly with religious leaders throughout RC-East to promote dialog, peace and stability between members of all faith. He is able to bring a vast range of experience and knowledge to the organization which he is able to pass on to religious leaders. Religious freedom, religious dialog, and religious cooperation are some of the necessary themes Chaplain Van Sloten shares.

News from:  U.S KFOR Regional Command East

KFOR Regional Command East Religious Support Teams                              NATO-KFOR

                                                        follow us:    @USEUWAffairs     

* Image-1: U.S Army KFOR Regional Command East, May 2, 2019©U.S Army KFOR RC East

* The Interview is subject to Copyright Law. ©U.S KFOR Regional Command East/NATO-KFOR/ United States Army Europe and Africa/ U.S Europe World Affairs. All Rights reserved.

U.S Army Europe and its 7th Training Command

Activated first in 1943,  the 7th Army Training Command  is the largest U.S Army Training Command outside of the United States, based in Germany, Europe.   With its leading role in training the Military Forces of allied and partner nations, the 7th Army Training Command has an expanded scope that goes well beyond the NATO– covering the globe. 

The 7th Army Training Command trains how to enhance the joint multinational interoperability, it trains to maintain the high readiness in the event of land operations, it trains how to combat…….how to liberate……, how to place the lasting cornerstone that asserts and upholds the global Security and Peace in every region.  

 

@7thATC

 

* By Editor in Chief

An Exclusive Interview with U.S. Army Europe-2

 

 

An exclusive interview with U.S. Army Europe spokesperson conducted by U.S Europe World Affairs Editor in Chief.

 

Thank you very much Sir, it is a great honor to have you here.

Q: Could you please give us a general picture of the U.S Army’s structure in Europe: its mission, political concepts, aspirations and the long term goals?

U.S. Army Europe Spokesperson: U.S. Army Europe’s mission is to provide ready, combat-credible land forces to, and set the essential conditions for, U.S. European Command and NATO to deter aggression from any potential adversary in the European theater.  There are approximately 38,000 U.S. Army Soldiers, 11,000 Department of the Army civilians and 13,000 local nationals assigned and deployed throughout Europe, strategically positioned across our 51-country area of responsibility to deter aggression and reassure our allies and partners of the U.S. commitment to peace and stability in Europe.

 

The U.S. Army presence in Europe represents more than 70 years of strong and unremitting commitment to regional stability and collective defense. Our continued presence reassures our allies and partners, and provides the physical and lethal deterrence necessary to counter threats to U.S. interests in Europe while honoring our commitment to NATO.

Q: Every month the U.S Army-Europe organizes and executes various types of training and military exercises in which most European Armed Forces take part.  What can be highlighted as the main objectives for these joint activities?

U.S. Army Europe Spokesperson: Each year U.S. Army Europe participates in approximately 50 multinational exercises. Collectively, these exercises involve more than 40 countries, with more than 68,000 multinational participants.

These exercises are designed to improve readiness and interoperability among participating allied and partner nations. This type of combined training enables allies and partners to respond more effectively to regional crises and meet their own security needs by improving the security of borders, ensuring energy security, and countering threats such as terrorism, illegal trafficking, and weapons proliferation.

Q: In early 2019, soldiers with the 1st Infantry Division’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team and 1st Combat Aviation Brigade were deployed to Europe in the Atlantic Resolve mission. Could you please give us a view to this mission and its essentiality in deepening partnerships between U.S Army and the European Armed Forces?

U.S. Army Europe Spokesperson: Atlantic Resolve builds readiness, increases interoperability and enhances the bonds between ally and partner militaries with multinational training events in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

Since April 2014, U.S. Army Europe has led the Department of Defense’s Atlantic Resolve land efforts by bringing units based in the U.S. to Europe for nine months at a time. There are approximately 6,000 Soldiers participating in Atlantic Resolve at any given time.

There are three types of Atlantic Resolve rotations – armored, aviation and logistical (known as a sustainment task force). These rotations are overseen by the Mission Command Element, a regionally aligned headquarters based in Poznan, Poland.

The 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, arrived in February 2019 from Fort Riley, Kansas, as the fourth iteration of an aviation rotation in support of Atlantic Resolve. The rotation included approximately 1,900 personnel, 50 UH-60 and HH-60 Black Hawks, 10 CH-47 Chinooks, 20 AH-64 Apaches and more than 1,500 pieces of equipment.

The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, arrived in January 2019 from Fort Riley, Kansas, as the fourth iteration of a combat rotation with approximately 3,500 personnel, 80 tanks, 120 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 10 Bradley (Variant) Fire Support Team vehicles, 15 Paladins, 500 tracked vehicles, 1500 wheeled vehicles and pieces of equipment and 850 trailers.

These deployments of ready, combat-credible U.S. forces to Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve is evidence of the strong and unremitting U.S. commitment to NATO and Europe.

Q: NATO KFOR’s Camp Bondsteel is the main base of the United States Army in KOSOVO. Please enlighten us about the Army’s participation in KFOR troops for establishing the long lasting stability in Kosovo.

U.S. Army Europe Spokesperson: The Multi-National Battlegroup-East is a NATO command, with headquarters at Camp Bondsteel which is the main base of the United States Army under Kosovo Force (KFOR) command in Kosovo. KFOR is composed of approximately 4,500 troops from 29 contributing nations supporting the NATO-led peace enforcement mission.

The United States is committed to supporting the peace in Kosovo and the Army has been at the core of KFOR since its deployment in the wake of the allied air campaign in June 1999. Currently, more than 500 U.S. Soldiers sourced from Active, National Guard and Reserve units comprise Multinational Battle Group-East and provide highly mobile, flexible and rapidly deployable company-sized elements to respond to potential trouble spots in Kosovo. As part of NATO and KFOR, U.S. Army units will continue to maintain a safe and secure environment in their respective sectors of Kosovo.

Q: What are the immediate and the long term vision of the U.S Army-Europe to maintain the continuous stability and peace in the continent (Europe)?

U.S. Army Europe Spokesperson: U.S. Army Europe’s mission is to provide ready, combat-credible land forces to, and set the essential conditions for, U.S. European Command and NATO to deter aggression from any potential adversary in the European theater. To accomplish this we have three top lines of effort, build and sustain strong relationships with our allies and partners, setting the theater and building and maintaining readiness. These are accomplished through our approximately 50 multinational exercises, use of rotational forces, such as Atlantic Resolve, Army Prepositioned Stock and more.

The U.S. is unlikely to act alone in any given situation which requires us to promote and develop military interoperability now with our allies and partners. We live, train and fight with allies and partners from strategically positioned bases in Europe for more timely and coordinated response during crises. For more than 70 years, U.S. Army represents unremitting commitment to regional stability and collective defense.

Q: On the extensive basis all European Armed Forces have enduring partnerships with the U.S Army-Europe whether in training, exercises, maneuvers or joint tasks.  How do you see these multinational partnerships and their impact in the operational fronts?

U.S. Army Europe Spokesperson: Our allies and partners are key to the U.S. Army’s overall strength. Engaging with the militaries of other nations gives our Soldiers the opportunity to learn new skills and perspectives.

One example is the U.S. Army National Guard’s State Partnership Program, which matches a State’s National Guard with a partner country promoting enduring, mutually beneficial security relationships with allies and friendly nations. Guard units conduct military-to-military engagements with partner nations in support of defense security goals and also leverage relationships building personal bonds and enduring trust. Training together now provides shared understanding and interoperability when conflict occurs. In Europe, Guard Soldiers boost our land force capability across the 22 states that participate in the State Partnership Program in 23 different countries.

Q: About 5,630 participants from 15 nations between from the end of March to April 17, 2019 were presented at the 7th Army Training Command and took part in Exercise Allied Spirit. What were the momentous pillars achieved in that military event?

U.S. Army Europe Spokesperson: Allied Spirit X, which took place Mar. 30 – Apr. 17, 2019, is unique in its ability to provide hands-on experience and testing of secure communications between NATO allies and partners to enhance interoperability and readiness across specified warfighting functions. Approximately 5,600 participants from 16 nations took part in this year’s exercise training together under a unified command structure to build readiness and improve interoperability.

The Allied Spirit series expands the capabilities of allied forces in Europe by having a different nation serve as the lead brigade during each rotation. Germany provided the brigade headquarters for this iteration of the exercise, as well as the primary training audience and higher command.

Q: Could you please speak about the crucially of the Enhanced Forward Presence Forces (EFP) and the four Multinational battlegroups with the focus on the US-led battlegroup in Poland?

U.S. Army Europe Spokesperson: NATO has enhanced its presence in the eastern part of the alliance, with four multinational battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. These battlegroups, led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the United States respectively, are multinational, and combat-ready, demonstrating the strength of the transatlantic bond. The eFPs are the most capable allied force NATO has ever positioned on its eastern flank.

The eFP Battlegroup Poland is led by the United States, hosted by Poland and includes troops from Croatia, Romania and the United Kingdom. The U.S. contribution to EFP is a part of the overall deterrence and defense posture and designed to demonstrate that even a limited attack on, or incursion into, NATO allies’ sovereign territory will be met by allied military force.

Q: Please tell us about the key training exercises that were scheduled for summer 2019.

U.S. Army Europe Spokesperson: Most of our summer exercises have concluded, but you can learn more about them at https://www.eur.army.mil/SummerExercises/

 

* Image: U.S Army Europe Partnership.U.S. Army Lt. Col. Tim Ferguson, far right, leads a detachment from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Soldiers at a parade in Riga, Latvia, commemorating 100 years of Latvian Independence. (photo by Sgt. 1st Class Robert Jordan)   November 2018 © U.S Army Europe

* The Interview is subject to Copyright Law.  © The United States Army Europe/ US Europe World Affairs.com.  All Rights reserved.

The U.S Army and Flag Day

In honour of the World Freedom Defenders the U.S Army and the United States Flag  June 14, 1775

  June 13, 2018 © U.S Army 

 Follow us @USEUWAffairs

Denmark for the UN Human Rights Council 2019/2021 (3)

                              Dignity, Dialogue  and  Development
are the main pillars upon which Denmark will press forward to promote Human Rights.                                                                      

                                                                        Dialogue

“Common positions on promotion of Human Rights are only reached by listening to one another and understanding one another. On contentious and sensitive issues, Denmark seeks to promote mutual understanding among Council members and stakeholders with a view to improving cooperation in and around the Council. ”  December 2016 © MFA of Denmark 

Additional: Denmark for the UN Human Rights Council 2019-2021
Denmark the Leading force in UN for Human Rights
Denmark’s new Humanitarian aid to UNMAS

Austrian Armed-Forces ‘The Winner of Strong Europe Tank Competition 2017’

Austrian Armed-Forces placed on the Top for  2017  Strong Europe Tank Challenge  hosted by the U.S Army Europe and co-hosted the Bundeswehr. The German Army stands on the second followed by the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

Austrian Armed-Forces in the Award ceremony May 12, 2017 ©U.S Army Europe/Markus Rauchenberger

The competition covered intensive operational maneuvers for defense and offensive measures executed from May 7 to 12 in U.S 7th Army Training Command in Grafenwoehr, Germany.                                                         The Armed-Forces participants in 2017  Strong Europe Tank Challenge were included from:  Austria,  France,  Germany, Poland, Ukraine and the United States

May 2017 @7th Army Training Command 

Additional: Die Bundeswehr won the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2016- 1

President Trump and the new American Era-2

  “America has always been the Land of dream, because America is a nation of true believers.

When the pilgrims landed in Plymouth they prayed. When  Founders  wrote the Declaration of Independence they invoked  ‘Our Creator’  four times. 

      Because in America we don’t worship government we worship God

Excerpt from President Trump’s speech at the Liberty University Commencement Ceremony, May 13 2017  ©The White House

Special: Watch President’s speech at the Liberty University Commencement Ceremony. May 13, 2017

Sources: The White House (Office of the Press Secretary)    Follow us  @USEUWAffairs     

The Leadership of Austrian Armed-Forces ‘Elite Unit’ to Counter Global Threats

The Austrian Special Forces ‘The Elite’

   ©Austrian MOD/Army