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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued in part-2 early next week 

News from:  U.S KFOR Regional Command East             

KFOR Regional Command East Religious Support Teams                     NATO-KFOR

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

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

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

The U.S Army and Flag Day

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

  June 13, 2018 © U.S Army 

 Follow us @USEUWAffairs

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

The Austrian Special Forces ‘The Elite’

   ©Austrian MOD/Army

Royal Danish Navy in the International Maritime Operation in Libya

Earlier this year, Danish parliament adopted the Resolution B 197 on August 19 which authorized Danish Armed-Forces to take the lead in the international maritime operation for removing chemical from Libya.                                                                                                                                                                                                               The original request was made by Libyan government on February 3, 2016  and  approved by the  Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on July 20th.  

Following that Royal Danish Navy led  the Operation in international maritime transport for removing Libya’s chemical weapons stockpile, starting from August 27, 2016. The chemicals have been transformed from port of Misrata in Libya to a special facility destruction in Germany.

the-royal-danish-navy-in-the-international-maritime-operation-in-libya-august-2016-dk-gov

Danish Ministry of Defence reaffirmed its commitment to this operation by stating: 

“Denmark brings substantial experience from its effort in the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons in 2013 and 2014. Denmark has both the capacity and skill to take on this important task in a safe and secure manner”

On Denmark’s Military leadership in the operation,  Defence Minister Peter Christensen stated:

“The Danish Defence has with great distinction – quickly and safely – solved the problem of removing chemicals out of Libya, and these substances can now be destroyed. The Danish Defence has substantial experience with tasks like this, and has once again shown that it is ready when needed to provide a contribution to peace and stability in the world. High praise for our soldiers and deployed personnel from the Danish Emergency Management Agency as well as the Customs and Tax Administration.”   August 31, 2016  © The Royal Danish MFA

“We have now removed the chemical remnants from Libya and have ensured that they will not fall into the wrong hands. This is an important contribution from Denmark to a safer world free of chemical weapons and a contribution that aims to support a more stable Libya. I am proud that the international community through the United Nations and OPCW has asked for Danish assistance, and very pleased that Danish ships and personnel once more has delivered on an important security policy agenda.” elaborated Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen. August 31, 2016  © The Royal Danish MFA

Additional: Denmark will bolster its Military Support to Afghanistan

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

Image: Danish Vessel in the Operation. August 31, 2016 courtesy of MFA of Denmark.

The U.S Naval Forces in Europe-Africa/1

As a crucial partner with NATO, the U.S Naval Forces in Europe-Africa have a central part in establishing and re-enforcing the Maritime Security in European Waters, the Mediterranean Sea….. and to the Oceans far beyond. 

us-naval-forces-in-europe-2016

September 14, 2016 © U.S Mission to NATO 

News from U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria
News from US Naval Forces Europe-Africa
News from U.S Air Force Europe-Africa                     News from Strong Europe U.S Army Europe 

Days of Remembrance and Prayers for September 11 2001

fdny-holds-memorial-service-for-the-15th-anniversary-of-september-11th-september-8-2016

The memorial service for 15th Anniversary of September 11 held by the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY).  September 10, 2016 © FDNY

Proclaimed by President Obama from September 9 to September 11 — the days of Remembrance and Prayers for September 11, 2001.

On September 11, 2001, a group of small and hateful minds conspired to threaten the very fiber of our country, seeking to break the American spirit and destroy our way of life. From the Atlantic to the Pacific, Americans were struck with grief as devastation and senseless loss of innocent human life unfolded. In the empty shadow of the World Trade Center, the remains of the Pentagon, and a charred Pennsylvania field where courageous passengers saved countless lives, what emerged from the ashes of that day was not defeat — it was the heroism, compassion, and unity of the American people, which no act of terror or hate could ever take away. On September 11, we recall the true spirit of our Nation following these heinous attacks, and we resolve to enshrine the enduring compassion and love of our people forever in the heart of America.”  Presidential Proclamation National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, 2016 © The White House

Presidential Proclamation National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, 2016

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 Editor in Chief  (Copy righted material)