Interview with NATO Deputy Spokesperson, the Hon. 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.
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.
With about 635 soldiers on a rotational deployment, the V Corps Headquarters (Forward) was officially inaugurated in November 2020 in Poznan, Poland. The plan was decided as the continuation of comprehensive military cooperation between the U.S Army and its counterpart.
“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.” announced U.S Army in September 2020
“The permanent presence of the US Army in Poland is crucial. American troops will be here permanently, not only occasionally. – The Forward Command of the V Corps is a contribution to security and stability in the region. We will increase our cooperation and we will act hand in hand with our allies from Poland” – highlighted the deputy commander of the 5th Corps, Maj. Gen. Terrence McKenrick, November 20, 2020 ©MOD of Poland
Excerpts form the speech of Minister of Defense of Poland during the inauguration ceremony of the V Corps Headquarters Forward in Poznan, Poland, November 20, 2020:
“Cooperation within NATO is the best guarantee of security and stability. We can say that we have become one of the main allies of the USA. Our cooperation is exemplary. We provide security, we not only use the security that other allies give, but we ourselves guarantee security through our participation in the entire system created within NATO – emphasized the minister.
The command will play a key role in the integration of American troops deployed in Poland and the synchronization of their cooperation with the Polish armed forces. This is a real increase in the interoperability of Polish and American troops.”
“This is undoubtedly our common success. It is visible through our very close relations and through our mutual exercises. Together we are stronger”
“The commencement of the operation of the forward command of the V Corps on the territory of the Republic of Poland is the result of the efforts made so far to increase the American military presence in Poland.” emphasized Minister Mariusz Błaszczak. November 20, 2020 © Ministry of Defense of Poland
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Acknowledgment : video ©U.S Defense/©V Corps/© Staff Sgt. Scott Longstreet November 11, 2020
By Editor in Chief (Copyrighted material)
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
*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 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
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.
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:
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.
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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 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
* 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.
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:
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
*Acknowledgment: the facts in the article are from District of Colombia National Guard, U.S Army. Image ©DoD/ Tech. Sgt. Arthur Mondale Wright.
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:
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.
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.
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*Acknowledgment: The historical facts in this article are from U.S National Guard
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:
“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)