Category Archives: The US-European Armed-Forces

Special Edition Interview with NATO Deputy Spokesperson

 

Interview with NATO Deputy Spokesperson, Mr. Piers Cazalet, conducted by Editor in Chief

 

 

 

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

Q 1:  With respect to NATO 2030, can you discuss the key elements identified and expounded in the meetings of the Defense Ministers at NATO Headquarters, 17-18 February 2021?

NATO Deputy Spokesperson, Mr. Piers Cazalet: Thank you for this opportunity to speak to U.S Europe World Affairs. The meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in February was the first with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. It represented an important milestone in our preparations for our summit later this year.

As for the NATO 2030 initiative launched by Secretary General Stoltenberg, it is informed by two fundamental premises. First: in the current historical juncture we have a unique opportunity to open a new chapter in relations between Europe and North America. Second: the number and scope of global challenges are such that no country and no continent can tackle them alone. Ultimately, the goal of the NATO 2030 initiative is to make NATO fit for the future.

Under the NATO 2030 initiative, Secretary General Stoltenberg has put forward a number of ambitious proposals. They cover key areas.

    • Strengthen our commitment to deterrence and defence, by providing incentives to Allies to contribute more capabilities, and ensure fairer burden sharing;
    • Raise our level of ambition when it comes to resilience, which is our first line of defence;
    • Boost transatlantic cooperation on defence innovation, so that NATO keeps its technological edge;
    • Improve our ability to train and build capacity in NATO partner countries, because this is a more sustainable way to contribute to stability in our neighbourhood, and to fight terrorism;
    • Enhance political coordination among Allies, so that NATO can consolidate itself as a platform for consultation and coordination, on more issues and in more formats;
    • Strengthen our political and practical cooperation with like-minded democracies around the world, so that we can do more to protect the rules-based order, which is undermined by countries that do not share our values, like Russia and China;
    • Bolster our efforts to address the security implications of climate change, notably by reducing vulnerabilities in and emissions from the military sector.
    • Start work on updating NATO’s Strategic Concept, in order to address existing and emerging challenges, recommit to our values, and reinforce the bond between Europe and North America.

Overall, the recent meetings of NATO Defence Ministers represented a great start to our discussion to build a substantial and forward-looking agenda for the NATO summit and to secure a more peaceful and prosperous future through a strong transatlantic Alliance.   

Q 2: Security challenges have been recorded by NATO as counter terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missile defense, cyber defense, improvised explosive devices, energy security, environment, hybrid threats.

Under the NATO alliance setting, could you elaborate on Hybrid threats and Cyber defense, as they seem quite related?

NATO Deputy Spokesperson, Mr. Piers Cazalet: Cyber threats are becoming more frequent, complex and destructive. NATO takes this threat very seriously, and we are constantly stepping up our cyber defences. NATO protects its own IT networks from cyber-attacks 24 hours a day. The Alliance has also created a new Cyberspace Operations Centre. NATO cyber experts actively share information, including through our Malware Information Sharing Platform. Furthermore, NATO has cyber rapid reaction teams on standby to assist Allies; and every year, cyber defenders from across the Alliance test their skills in Cyber Coalition, NATO’s biggest cyber defence exercise. Allies are also bolstering their national cyber defences through NATO’s Cyber Defence Pledge.

We must keep strengthening our cyber defences as we learn from recent attacks. NATO and the EU have been cooperating closely on cyber security for years; and our cyber experts exchange information and warnings in real-time, keeping us all safer.

With respect to hybrid threats, at the Brussels Summit in 2018, NATO Leaders agreed to establish Counter Hybrid Support Teams to assist Allies in preparing for and responding to this kind of threat. If requested by an Ally, a team of experts can be deployed to support national efforts in variety of areas, including cyber defence, energy security, counter-terrorism, civil preparedness or strategic communications.

I would like to highlight two more points. First: having a strong military is fundamental to our security, but strong militaries depend on strong societies. NATO is playing an important role in this respect, including by setting minimum resilience standards for Allies; and looking to the future, we need to do even more. We need a broader, more integrated and better coordinated approach to resilience, with concrete national targets – for communications, including 5G and undersea cables, and energy and water supplies; and a joint assessment of any vulnerabilities.

Countries like China are investing strategically in ports and airports, and our telecommunication networks remain vulnerable to attacks from the outside, and compromise from the inside. So we must continue to build up our resilience; and we welcome that resilience is an area where we work closely with the EU; NATO staff have shared with their EU counterparts our updated baseline requirements on resilience. This is also an important part of the NATO 2030 agenda, and Allied leaders will address it at our Summit later this year.

Second: The rapid pace of technological change is a challenge. Artificial intelligence, autonomous weapon systems, big data, and biotech can significantly change our lives; but these developments also present risks, and we must remain at the forefront of these changes to understand what they mean for us. We can no longer take our technological edge for granted. For example, China intends on becoming the world’s leading power in artificial intelligence by 2030, less than 10 years away. 

So we must research, invest in and adopt emerging technologies. NATO plays a key role. It coordinates defence planning among Allies, ensuring we are developing the best technologies. NATO defence ministers recently agreed an implementation strategy to ensure we stay ahead of the curve when it comes to innovative technologies. NATO can also serve as a forum for Allies to consider practical, ethical and legal questions that arise from new technologies. Furthermore, emerging technology is an important topic in our dialogue with the EU.

Q 3: In response to Covid-19 pandemic over the past year, NATO has mobilized to provide tremendous assistance to allied and partner countries. Could you please describe future mitigation and strategies in place?

NATO Deputy Spokesperson, Mr. Piers Cazalet: COVID-19 has changed our lives in many ways and it has magnified existing security trends and tensions. There has been a severe economic impact. Supply chains have been interrupted and the digital revolution has been accelerated. At the same time, challenges to our collective security have not disappeared. On the contrary. Russia continues its military activities unabated; ISIS and other terrorist groups are emboldened; we have seen an increase in disinformation; and the rise of China is fundamentally shifting the global balance of power.

Against this backdrop, since the start of the pandemic NATO has been addressing two parallel needs. On one hand to stand in solidarity and help each other out. On the other, to prevent this health crisis from turning into a security crisis.

In the first half of 2020, almost half a million troops from NATO militaries have supported civilian efforts, building field hospitals, helping with testing, transporting patients, distributing medical equipment, conducting repatriation, helping with decontamination, making available laboratories and quarantine facilities, establishing triage centres, and supporting border security across the Alliance.

In June 2020, NATO Defence Ministers decided on a new Operations Plan to ensure that the Alliance remains ready to continue helping Allies and partners. We have also established a NATO Pandemic Response Trust Fund to enable us to quickly acquire medical supplies and services. This Fund maintains an established stockpile of medical equipment and supplies to be able to provide immediate relief to Allies or partners in need.

Allied militaries and NATO can also provide help with the rollout of the vaccine, if needed.

Overall, COVID has shown us how unpredictable our world is and why boosting resilience is a key task for NATO. COVID-19 has also shown us that we are stronger and safer when we work together. Europe and North America must continue to stick together. That’s why we need a strong NATO – now, and in the future.

Q 4: In the context of the same subject, I’d like to ask you about the valuable contributions of NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre, and its timely operations.  Please tell us about the center’s founding and essential objectives, and what constitute its primary operational tasks and scope? 

NATO Deputy Spokesperson, Mr. Piers Cazalet: The Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) has been playing a crucial role throughout NATO’s response to the Coronavirus crisis. Since the start of the pandemic, it has coordinated requests from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and 18 NATO and partner countries, garnering more than 130 responses in return. Since the beginning of this year, the Centre has coordinated new donations to Allies and partners in need. Most recently, Albania, North Macedonia and Montenegro received sets of ventilator supplies to sustain the operation of the ventilators received from NATO’s stockpile earlier in 2020. Additionally, Slokavia donated and delivered four pulmonary ventilators to North Macedonia in response to an urgent request for assistance received in January 2021.

The EADRCC is NATO’s main civil emergency response mechanism. It is active all year round; it operates on a 24/7 basis; and it involves all NATO Allies and partner countries. The Centre functions as a clearing-house system for coordinating both requests and offers of assistance, mainly in case of natural and man-made disasters. Its tasks are carried out in close cooperation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), which retains the primary role in the coordination of international disaster relief operations. Furthermore, its principal function is coordination rather than direction. In the case of a disaster requiring international assistance, it is up to individual NATO Allies and partners to decide whether to provide assistance, based on information received from the EADRCC.

The Centre is located at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. It is staffed by secondees from NATO and partner countries and members of NATO’s International Staff. The Centre liaises closely with UN OCHA, NATO Military Authorities and other relevant international organisations. When a disaster occurs, the EADRCC can temporarily be augmented with additional personnel from NATO and partner delegations to NATO, or NATO’s international civilian and military staff. In addition, the EADRCC has access to national civil experts that can be called upon to provide the Centre with expert advice in specific areas in the event of a major disaster.

In addition to its day-to-day activities and the immediate response to emergencies, the EADRCC conducts large-scale field exercises to improve interaction between NATO and partner countries, as well as between NATO and international organisations. Regular major disaster exercises have been organised in different participating countries to practise procedures, provide training for local and international participants, build up interoperability skills and capabilities and harness the experience and lessons learned for future operations. Since 2000, the EADRCC has conducted on average one large consequence-management field exercise every year and started in 2016 a new set of exercises using virtual reality technology. Virtual reality is a big part of the future and NATO is using it to complement its conventional table-top and field exercises.

News from:  U.S KFOR Regional Command East

 *The Interview is subject to Copyright Law. ©NATO/ U.S Europe World Affairs. 

An Exclusive Interview with U.S Army Europe and Africa-3 (Part-2)

An exclusive interview with the Spokesperson of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, conducted by Editor in Chief (Part-2)

 

 

Q 4. The Commander of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, General Cavoli, visited Finland 10-12 January. The event was described in the framework of Army Arctic training. What could be emphasized about this training, and the special relations that exist between the United States and the Finnish Defence Forces? 

U.S Army Europe and Africa Spokesperson: Last month, Gen. Cavoli conducted an official visit with our Finnish partners, to include Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces Gen. Timo Kivinen and Chief of the Finnish Army  Lt. Gen. Petri Hulkko.  These joint meetings reinforced the shared defense goals between these two nations. The U.S. and Finnish joint military partnership was formally solidified when Finland joined the  Partnership for Peace program in 1994 and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997.  As a fellow Arctic nation, the United States is dedicated to maintaining readiness in the region and training with Finland, an Arctic partner that has vast experience dealing with the challenges of the High North. The U.S. and Finland also coordinate with other Arctic nations on the Arctic Council, ensuring peace and security in the region.

This trip proved invaluable as our Finnish and U.S. military colleagues discussed and observed Arctic military training, and the U.S. leadership gained a broader understanding of the country’s unique and incredible terrain.

Q 5. In November 2020 the Army re-activated its V Corps in Europe, by establishing the  Headquarters in Poland. Was this decision part of enhancing military cooperation between the U.S and Poland?

U.S Army Europe and Africa Spokesperson:  V Corps has a strong and enduring heritage in the European theater, and we are excited to continue that legacy. The V Corps’ history dates back to 1918, when the unit was activated during World War I in combat in France. It was inactivated in 2013, after nearly a century of prestigious service to the U.S. at Wiesbaden’s Schloss Biebrich. 

The new V Corps Forward Headquarters was activated in Poznan, Poland, on Nov. 20, 2020.  Prior to selecting the location for the headquarters, the Army conducted a comprehensive analysis to determine the most suitable location for the headquarters. The factors analyzed included resources such as the facilities’ availability, condition and serviceability; network infrastructure; and transportation proximity.

Q 6. Could you please give us a background picture of the Army V Corps (in Europe). And with its new military setting what critical role it will play within NATO?

U.S Army Europe and Africa Spokesperson: The return of V Corps to Europe enhances security in the region and reassures our NATO allies and partners of the United States’ ironclad commitment to NATO and partner nations. The primary mission of the new forward headquarters will be 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.

The activation of V Corps provides the needed level of command and control, focused on synchronizing U.S. Army, allied and partner nation tactical formations operating in Europe. V  Corps 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. 

Overall, the new headquarters strengthens our tactical readiness and increases our ability to employ our forces.

Q 7. Please tell us how the U.S Army Europe and Africa is coping with the Covid-19 pandemic, and how is going ahead with the immunization process?

U.S Army Europe and Africa Spokesperson: 2020 has shown us that no matter how hard we try we can’t predict what will happen. To preserve the safety and readiness of the force and comply with Department of Defense, Department of the Army and host nation directed mitigation measures, U.S. Army Europe and Africa has taken the steps to integrate COVID-19 prevention and protection measures into planning considerations for all exercises.

While COVID-19 impacted our planning timelines for some exercises, we are now able to execute planned exercises with negligible differences. We maximize the use of mitigation techniques such as masks, enhanced sanitation, physical distancing and rotational shift work to ensure readiness. Critical to this endeavor will be the strict COVID prevention and mitigation strategy implemented by U.S. and participating nations. The adjustment of military exercises reflects the reality that we must maintain peak readiness while acting responsibly to prevent the spread of COVID.

In addition, the U.S. government has purchased COVID-19 vaccines and is making them available to the Department of Defense for distribution and administration to DOD personnel. The distribution process is phase-driven to protect our military community from COVID-19 as quickly as possible. As U.S. Army Europe and Africa works through vaccinating our healthcare personnel and first  responders, we are also looking at our highly deployable and mission essential forces here in Europe and our high-risk populations. After that, we’ll be able to focus on our healthy service members, civilians, families, retirees not part of the high-risk population, etc. For more information and resources on U.S. Department of Defense coronavirus-related subjects visit: https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/

News from:  U.S KFOR Regional Command East               

KFOR Regional Command East Religious Support Teams               NATO-KFOR

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

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

An exclusive interview with the Spokesperson of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, conducted by Editor in Chief (Part-1)

 

 

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. European Command/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-1

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

* 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. 

U.S National Guard and its State Partnership Program-2 D.C National Guard

The State Partnership Program (SPP) initiated originally by Department of Defense in 1991, is a solid joint project with the State Department.

The program was officially established in 1993, is mainly implemented by the National Guard of every U.S States, territories, and the District of Colombia, as currently partnering with 89 nations across the different continents. 

Added to military engagements, the partnership also includes diplomatic, economic development, and capacity building plans.

The National Guard of District of Colombia has been in partnership with Jamaica (Western Hemisphere) since 1999. This partnership incorporates the completion of almost 20 engagements a year on a mutually benefited outcome.

The integral part of these engagements are highlighted as follows: 

  • Military training and exercises;
  • Military police training and domestic security, counternarcotic;
  • Border, port and aviation security;
  • Training against violent extremist organizations;
  • Detect, mitigation, and respond to natural/human-made disasters;
  • Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief;
  • Crisis management;
  • Medical, dental training, as well as the combat medical events. 

In February 2019 the D.C National Guard expanded its SPP by forming an additional partnership with Burkina Faso (West Africa).  

“The D.C. National Guard is proud to be a part of the multi-faceted relationship between the United States and Burkina Faso,”   

“I am confident that the D.C. National Guard and Burkina Faso will benefit from the extraordinary talents, skills and experiences each will bring to this exciting partnership”, expressed Army Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, D.C. National Guard Commanding General. ©U.S Army February 4 2019 ©D.C National Guard 

 

More Army news on D.C National Guard State partnership Program with Burkina Faso 

Expanded engagements in Burkina Faso, Promoting Prosperity and Growth

News from:  U.S Army Europe and Africa     U.S National Guard     U.S Embassy Jamaica

*Acknowledgment: the facts in the article are from District of Colombia National Guard, U.S Army. Image ©DoD/ Tech. Sgt. Arthur Mondale Wright. 

The U.S National Guard and its State Partnership Program with the World-1

Established in 1993, the State Partnership Program (SPP) is the Department of Defense initiative that enables the National Guard of every U.S State to form a long term and mutual partnerships and a military to military engagements with a specific country across the globe. This partnership encompasses all areas of civil and military components, opening the pathway to robust engagements between the U.S Armed Forces and the military of the partner countries.  

Spanning nearly three decades of achievements and connectivity with the world, the SPP has materialized the valuable partnerships with one third of the world countries, building the most enduring international cooperation and bonds with over 89 nations in:

  • Africa;
  • Asia;
  • Central Asia;
  • Europe (Eastern, Western, Central, and the Baltic Region); 
  • Western Hemisphere.

In the framework of the National Guard State Partnership Program this time we introduce Alabama National Guard. 

From community works like building schools, bridges, hospitals, combing the medical teams of covid-19 response in 2020, to international disaster training and readiness, Alabama National Guard has been strengthening its partnership with Romania since 1993.

Through the SPP, Alabama and Romani have achieved over 200 crucial engagements which benefited both sides of the Atlantic.

 

 

 

 

 

Members of the Alabama National Guard welcome a team of specialists from the Romanian Ministry of National Defense at Montgomery Aviation. May 25, 2020

©National Guard /1SG Sandra D. Lucas. 

More news on Defense cooperation: 

European multinational disaster response exercise Blonde Avalanche 2020

Romanian defense chief visits Alabama National Guard

News from:   U.S Army Europe and Africa       U.S National Guard          U.S Embassy Romania

                                             follow us:   @USEUWAffairs     

*Acknowledgment: The historical facts in this article are from U.S National Guard

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.

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