Category Archives: U.S Armed Forces in the World

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

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

U.S Naval Force in NATO Maritime Exercise Dynamic Manta 2017

The United States Naval Force in Europe maintains a crucial role in most NATO Maritime Joint-Training…… Maneuver and Exercises — as of recent time in Dynamic Manta in the Mediterranean Sea, the southern coast of Italy.  

The exercise accentuates the aims on increasing the interoperability and proficiency in multi-dimensional-facet of the Naval capacities,  Anti-Submarine and Anti-Surface Warfare in NATO member states.  Dynamic Manta was also carried out in 2015 and 2016, with the similar objectives.                                   This time it is hosted by Italy,  led by NATO and being executed from March 13 to 25.  

    USS Porter (DDG 78) transits the Mediterranean Sea, March 9, 2017 © U.S Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams

Announced by the U.S Naval Forces in Europe/Africa, the United States has, in addition  to the Naval units, provided:

  • The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) “Freedom’s Champion”
  • A nuclear powered attack submarine assigned to Commander,
  • Task Force CTF 69, two P-8A Poseidons assigned to CTF 67
  • And one P-3 Orion from the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11. 

“Exercise Dynamic Manta is an excellent way for NATO allies to build resilient warfare capabilities, including anti-submarine warfare capabilities, through realistic training and challenging scenarios.  The chance to participate in an exercise that enhances NATO’s overall multi-lateral operations is a tremendous opportunity, and we look forward to working with all of the participating nations.”  Highlighted Commander  Andria Slough, Commanding Officer of the USS Porter (DDG 78) March 14, 2017 ©U.S Naval Forces Europe/Africa

Participants are also Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, Task Unit U02 (SNMG2 TU02);  the Naval Forces of: Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Turkey, UK and the U.S.  

Sources: U.S Naval Europe/Africa, NATO Maritime Public Affairs   Follow us @USEUWAffairs

By Catherine Stella Schmidt (Copyrighted material) 

 

NATO Ministerial Meetings in Brussels ‘Stability Beyond Borders’

NATO Foreign Ministers meetings, December 6-7 in Brussels, were concluded with the strategic focus on strengthening Transatlantic cooperation and projecting Stability Beyond Borders.

Described by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini,  EU and NATO start new era of cooperation  in 7 areas with the agreement on 42 proposals.  

The areas of focus for more closer cooperation will be on the crucial strategic Defense and Security fields including: Operational Cooperation, Cyber Defense, Maritime Security, Defense Capabilities, Defense Industry/Research, Military Training and Exercise

On his statement Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg  highlighted:                                                                                   “One way of strengthening the bond between North America and Europe is by strengthening the cooperation between NATO and EU. And we have a momentum now when it comes to NATO-EU cooperation. In July, I signed a Joint Declaration with Presidents Tusk and Juncker and at the meeting today we will decide how we turn that declaration into concrete action.”  Dec 6, 2016 ©NATO

  1. Additional: Remarks by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the  press conference,  Dec 6 
  2. Remarks by the High Representative Federica Mogherini at the joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Dec 6 2016

Follow us  @USEUWAffairs                            Sources: U.S Mission NATO/NATO Public Affairs

By Catherine Stella Schmidt (Copyrighted material) 

Royal Danish Navy in Standing NATO Maritime Group-2

The Royal Danish Naval vessel Absalon has been deployed to Standing NATO Maritime Group 2  on September 12  to fortify the alliance in Maritime Security and counter-terrorism.                                                     The mighty ship…….seemingly serene……. is equipped with Lynx helicopter and Special Forces with the high reputation for accuracy and agile act when it enters into Operations. 

danish-frigate-hdms-absalon-sep-2016-dk-in-nato

 

 

 

 

September 20, 2016 © DK mission to NATO

 

 

In its recent deployment to Mediterranean Sea as a part of Standing NATO Maritime Group-2, its tasks among others will include:

  • Support for NATO’s Operation Active Endeavour
  • Participation in the exercise Joint Warrior of the coast of Scotland as well as continuous co-training with the other ships in SNMG 2 to increase the maritime operational cooperability in the Alliance
  • Gathering and providing information/ intelligence to NATO’s maritime situational awareness in the Mediterranean Sea
  • To establish NATO-presence and being part of routine Diplomatic visits.  Described by the Denmark’s mission to NATO. September 28 2016 

News from Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Denmark
News from Danish Mission to NATO
News from former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Sources: NATO/Denmark mission to NATO

By Catherine Stella Schmidt  (Copyrighted material)

The United States Navy in Operation Atalanta-2

US naval Europe Africa May 22, 2016

 

The United States Military Sealift Command  (MSC)  is a Military Naval Agency to support transportation for the U.S Navy at seas and oceans.   Its history goes back to the second world war– even though at that time the MSC was not established as the independent agency.  A few years later in 1949 the formation of  the Military Sea Transportation Service, as a distinguished agency,  was materialized to provide ocean transportation support for the U.S Department of Defense.     the-aircraft-carrier-uss-dwight-d-eisenhower-and-usns-john-ericsson-t-ao-194-us-navy

 

 

 

 

 

In the years followed the 1949,  the role of Military Sealift Command (MSC), developed and commenced to project itself more significantly.  Its operations continue to insert the vital support,  not only to the United States Navy but also for NATO Allies–encompassing from the Cold War era, the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan missions– and to the most ongoing operations of the present time, inter alia, the  NATO and EU in the counter-piracy.

In the recent years with much synchronized joint efforts of the U.S and European Naval Forces in the various global missions, the MSC also has notably expanded its supporting tasks to the European Naval Forces. In this effort one of its main tasks is for Replenishment At Sea (RAS).  The recent MSC statistic report describes that at the present time there are approximately 110 ships on a daily basis operating on support mission across the globe.

On August 30, the EU NAVFOR flagship HNLMS Tromp,  after intense days and weeks of maritime security operation in the Indian Ocean and gulf of Aden, had to be refueled for the continuation of its crucial mission at seas.                                                                                                                                                                               For that the U.S  fleet replenishment oiler  USNS John Ericsson  was tasked for administering the replenishment.   In the ensuing early hours of the day, the grand ship of  U.S Navy ……. had to reach the mathematically determined point to the Dutch frigate– for executing  ‘the Alongside Connected Replenishment’– on a rapid and precise mode.                                                                                                                

Shortly after–  the colossal ship drifted away….. and sailed  ……into distance for its next mission.          

Yet this was not the first,  nor will be the last,  that the Military Sealift Command of the U.S Navy stood as the vital lifeline for the EU Naval missions be it in any parts of the World, when urgency and support has been called.   Its role even though as the supporting task remained to be highly essential– for without MSC the continuation of any operations will not be possible, especially the maritime security  and the counter-piracy in the oceans.

hnlms-tromp-approaches-usns-john-ericsson-to-begin-refueling-august-2016

 

 

 

Frigate HNLMS Tromp (right) approaches USNS John Ericsson to be refueled. August 30, 2016 © EU NAVFOR                                                                                                                                                       

 

  1. Additional:  The United States Navy in Operation Atalanta-1
  2. The USNAVAF and  EU  NAVFOR for the first contact  between Operation ATALANTA  and the US Command responsible for the US Naval Forces in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Image-1:  The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) alongside the fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) in Arabian Guld. July 26, 2016  © U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Joshua Murray.                                                                                                                  Sources: US Navy/EU NAVFOR      

 By Catherine Stella Schmidt (Copy righted material)                                                                                

The United States Armed Forces and its new Strategic Concept in Europe

 

 

 

While still the state and non -state sponsored adversarial threats are posing challenges to the security and stability of European landscape –the United States has audibly in many ways, reaffirmed its commitment to Europe.

Albeit with the less number of its troops, yet with the deployable rotational forces, the U.S has promised for a long stay, to defend and fortifies its European partners.

Coextending with that– the United States military has conceptualized a new strategic planning which empowers the U.S with the 30,000 troops, and the stepped up rotational forces, to maintain the same efficacy of 300,000 boots on the grounds.

With this new military concept of the Department of Defense formulated in the recent years as ‘The European Reassurance Initiative (ERI)’ signed by President Obama  in December 2014, the U.S conveys explicitly and forthright that its Armed-Forces will always be part of European allies and provide every assurance for European Security and Defense.                                    

With that the U.S Armed Forces in Europe has redefined its vision, role– reshaping its partnerships with the European counterparts into a new level of political and military proximity and closeness.

Under the same scheme, the U.S European Command has intensified, in the recent years, its engagement in preparing and upgrading the European Armed Forces from south and the Black sea to the northern European hemisphere the Baltic sea– to the highest military architectural format—effectively interoperable with the U.S military in any operational environments.

The new strategic planning in Europe encompasses a wide range of trainings, joint maneuvers and exercises which are formulated to increase:

  • The interoperability of U.S-European Armed-Forces;
  • Modernization of European military weaponry equipment, technology and technique;
  • Advancement and the upgrade of European military capabilities from air to the cyber- space.

The planning goes further with a special focus to bolster:

  • European capability for deterrence;
  • Their strength and their combat power, simultaneously.

This new concept and its wide-scope of applicable approach– has also inaugurated a new chapter towards the standardization of U.S-European Armed-Forces, enabling them to prepare and maintain the high readiness for countering the global crisis, in a curtailed frame of time yet with the most effective measures in place.

“We will be always going to be part of Coalition if not Alliance. All our best and most reliable Partners come from Europe whether NATO or Partnership for Peace Countries.  So the Chance  for practice with them is a great opportunity to continue to build the trust with them” Excerpts from the statement Commanding General of U.S Army Europe, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges.  In the interview during the NATO Exercise, Norway March 2016.

By Catherine Stella Schmidt   (Copyrighted material)

 

An Exclusive Interview with the U.S Army Europe-1

US naval Europe Africa May 22, 2016

 

In the Exclusive Interview Series, this time we have the special occasion of presenting our interview with the United States Army Europe. The interview has been conducted with the Team of Public Affairs of the U.S Army Europe HQ in Germany.

 

Q:  The United States and Europe are immensely interconnected, not only by Historical Heritage, Values and Ideals for centuries, but also by Political Landscape, Security and Defense.

  • Would you please elaborate on the importance of this Relation on the domain of Security and Defense.

Public Affairs of the U.S Army Europe HQ in Germany:  Our history is absolutely the foundation of what connects the United States and Europe. During the Warsaw Summit in July President Barack Obama said, “In this challenging moment, I want to take this opportunity to state clearly what will never change – and that is the unwavering commitment of the United States to the security and defense of Europe, to our transatlantic relationship, to our commitment to our common defense.”

Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade join NATO Allies. US Army Europe May 2014

This is also the case for the U.S. Army’s role with our European Allies and partners. Although the security environment has dramatically evolved over the last 25 years, it is vital for us to continue to work and train with our Allies and partners. Multinational exercises like Swift Response, Anakonda, Inherent Resolve, Saber Guardian and other training opportunities benefit Army Europe Soldiers as well as our National Guard and Reserve components. We know firsthand that training with our Allies, partners, and NATO better prepares us all for future operational requirements.

Such operations and exercises provide our U.S. Army Soldiers with necessary training and valuable skills needed to operate in this theater. They also facilitate building relations with our Allies and partners, which is just as important. Everything we do should demonstrate to our European Allies and partners that we understand our responsibility and commitment to offer assurance.

Q: Strong Europe’ could you please illustrate this crucial aspiration of the U.S Armed-Forces in Europe and how the U.S Army present, project and implement this Concept?

Public Affairs of the U.S Army Europe HQ in Germany: By looking at the stories on our website, the content on our social media channels and following the coverage of the exercises, you will see that “Strong Europe” is not a catch phrase, it is a commitment.

This commitment is the corner stone of the framework that makes up everything U.S. Army Europe contributes on behalf of the Army, to EUCOM, AFRICOM, CENTCOM, and NATO. Europe is a complex and dynamic security environment that presents evolving challenges. With the contributions and capabilities provided by our Allies, partners and regionally allocated forces this strategic effect can be reached.

The Multinational Battle Group-East Military Provost Marshals office gives brief to NATO Forces Kosovo in Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, July 26, 2016 EUCOM

 

 

 

 

U.S. Army Europe operates with five pillars to support our priorities. They are: Empowering Junior Leaders; Army Reserve and National Guard support; Allies and Partners; Regionally Allocated Forces; and Dynamic Presence. All of these components make up “Strong Europe”.

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Interview with Minister Lucia Puttrich and her official visit to U.S Army European Command

 

 

 

 

Interview with H.E.  Minister Lucia Puttrich, Minister of European and Federal Affairs and Representative of the State of Hessen at the Federal Government of Germany, conducted by U.S Europe World Affairs Editor in Chief.

 

Your Excellency thank you very much indeed for accepting this interview. 

Q: You had an official visit at the end of August to U.S Army Center Europe. Please tell about us your general impression of the US Army in Germany, especially in regard with a great relations between die Bundeswehr and U.S Armed Forces.

H.E.  Minister Lucia Puttrich: My visit to the US-Army Europe headquarters in Wiesbaden was very interesting. We, as state government, have a close and trusting relationship to the US armed forces in Hessen. This is certainly due to a long history. We, as Germans, are very grateful to the USA that we were given the chance to rebuild our country according to democratic principles after the Second World War. For this, important decisions were made in Hessen. In 1948, the Hessian Constitution was signed at the Headquarter of the US armed forces and on July 1, 1948, the eleven West-German Minister-Presidents were given the mandate to prepare a German constitution.

The good cooperation, including in the civil-military area, is highly important for the safety of our citizens, especially in the face of present threats and challenges. Meeting Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges and his team convinced me of this [necessity]. Speaking about the good relationship between the Bundeswehr and the US Army here in Europe, it is of course remarkable that a Bundeswehr-General serves as chief of staff here in Wiesbaden. This is not self-understood but a strong sign for the importance of the German-American cooperation in this area.

 Q:  How the American presence in the South is received and welcomed by the local community.

H.E.  Minister Lucia Puttrich:  We, the people of Hessen, are open-minded and good hosts. We make sure that the soldiers, the civil employees and their families feel at ease here. Moving the European headquarters of the US army from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden is a sign for the good relations between the USA and Hessen. This was a groundbreaking decision of the US army with a highly symbolic character. The people of Wiesbaden and the people in the region have gained new neighbors with the relocation. We want to maintain the same close and good relationship we are presently enjoying. The people of Hessen have a strong welcoming culture.

 Q: What are the outcomes/benefit of this friendship between your government and great community in the south with the Americans.

H.E.  Minister Lucia Puttrich:  The German-American friendship also has a positive influence on the civil-military cooperation – not only with the US armed forces but also with the local command of the Bundeswehr. The trusting cooperation and the continuous exchange of information between the State Government, the ministry of the interior and the respective armed forces is remarkable.

News from:  U.S Army Europe and Africa         Hessen Government 

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Image:  U.S. Army Europe headquarters welcomed Minister Lucia Puttrich, the Hessian Minister for European and Federal Affairs, who met with Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commander of Army Europe, and his staff.  August 24, 2015 Wiesbaden, Germany ©U.S Army 

References:  Strong Europe, German-US Military partnerships

Hessian Minister of European and Federal Affairs visits U.S. Army Europe

 

* The Interview is subject to Copyright Law.  All Rights reserved.

© Hessen government / US Europe World Affairs.com.  

 

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