Category Archives: US-European Leadership

SPECIAL EDITION INTERVIEW WITH H.E. Ambassador Liselotte Plesner, Pemanent Representative of Denmark to NATO

Interview with H.E. Ambassador Liselotte Plesner, Permanent Representative of Denmark to NATO, conducted by Editor in Chief

 

 

 

 

 

Your Excellency Ambassador Plesner, we are very much honored to have this interview with you. Thank you for giving us this occasion.  

Q 1: The first question is about Denmark’s leadership in NATO, and the military concept of  ‘Denmark’s Security is deeply rooted in NATO’ proclaimed by Danish Ministry of Defence. Please give us a panoramic view of Denmark’s leadership in NATO and what this concept means for the role and commitments that Denmark holds in the Transatlantic security and defence.

Thank you, it is always a pleasure to talk about the importance of NATO and this is a great opportunity to create awareness about Denmark’s work and active role within NATO.

We are a small country, and we cannot face our security challenges alone. NATO is the guarantor of our security and by virtue of its role as a value-based organisation the guarantor of our way of life.

In 1949, NATO was founded on the same principles and values as we stand for today, and it is essential for Denmark together with allies and other like-minded countries to uphold and protect our values such as democracy, individual freedom, and the rule of law as laid out in NATO’s founding Washington treaty.

Safeguarding the rules-based international order is also important for the Alliance. This is why NATO is currently working on the forward-looking agenda NATO2030. We see a fundamental shift in the global balance of power, and NATO needs to be fit to match the derived consequences as well as the challenges that persist. Euro-Atlantic security depends on strong transatlantic bonds and we are therefore looking forward to this year’s summit and to recommitting to our special bond and shared values.   

NATO 2030 and the upcoming summit comes at a pivotal moment for the Alliance. The current security environment is both complex, unpredictable, and the most challenging since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Systemic competition with countries that do not share our democratic values and undermine the rules-based international order as well as terrorism, disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks and climate change all require constant adaptation and agility. Consequently, Denmark has actively sought to respond through the Alliance by continuously increasing our shared focus on the capabilities required by NATO to maintain our collective deterrence and defence.  

Denmark has contributed substantially to NATO operations and missions throughout the years, including through the command of NATO Mission Iraq, the present contribution to NATO’s missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and regular contributions to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in the Baltic Sea Region and NATO Air Policing. Denmark has been ready to contribute, also, to difficult operations and missions to the benefit of Allied security. I believe that our contributions and continuous engagement has given us the reputation as a constructive and capable ally.

Through 72 years of being an ally in NATO, Denmark has seized opportunities to translate our commitment into operational actions. We believe in the transatlantic bond and the foundational values we all share and every day we go to work with the intention of letting our actions and decisions reflect this belief.

Q 2:  Since 1949 as one of the founding members of North Atlantic Treaties, Denmark has been a crucial contributor to NATO, both by troops and funds. Could you speak about some of the recent past, and recent years’ NATO missions that Denmark has been participating in?

As already touched upon, Denmark has contributed to many NATO operations and missions and all of them deserve to be emphasized. However, I will limit myself and only highlight three.

Firstly, Denmark currently holds the command of the NATO Mission Iraq (NMI), which is a training and advising mission. The purpose of the mission is to advise and train the Iraqi security apparatus so that they are capable of securing peace and preventing ISIS from re-emerging. As such, NMI works in complementarity to other international missions such as the Coalition’s Operation Inherent Resolve and the EU and UN advisory missions (EUAM and UNAMI). Denmark took over the command of NMI in November last year and will lead the mission until mid-2022. It is an important responsibility, but many years of experience in international operations make us capable of fulfilling this task. In addition to our leadership, we also contribute with a number of military and civilian advisors as well as a mobile force protection unit and a transport helicopter detachment. Furthermore, as decided at NATO’s Defence Ministerial meeting in February, and by virtue of our current leadership, Denmark will oversee a strengthening of NMI in accordance with Iraqi desires and needs. We are very proud of the trust placed in us by our allies, and I think this really underscores how our allies regard us as a capable ally.

Secondly, I will highlight the Danish contribution to NATO’s efforts in Afghanistan over the past 20 years. Danish troops have been employed as part of both the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Resolute Support Mission (RSM) throughout NATO’s campaign. Whilst ISAF also provided security in Afghanistan and assisted the Afghan security forces in the conduct of security operations, the two missions were tasked to train, advice, and assist the Afghan security and defence forces as well as to compliment other national institutions. Denmark has contributed whole-heartedly to this endeavour, and, when necessary, Danish troops have fought courageously alongside our allies and partners. Through an immense effort by all allies and partners together with Afghanistan, we have achieved our goal of not letting Afghanistan become a safe haven for terrorists, and we honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice, including 44 Danish soldiers. As an Alliance, we have followed the principle of going in together, adjusting together, and, when the time was right, leaving together. On the 14 April 2021, the Foreign and Defence Ministers of the Alliance decided to end RSM and start a new chapter of our partnership with Afghanistan. The end of RSM does not mean that NATO will leave Afghanistan behind. Allies and partners will continue to stand with Afghanistan, and from a Danish perspective, we expect to maintain our diplomatic presence and a solid civil engagement.

Thirdly, to secure stability closer to home Denmark contributes to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Poland and the Baltic States and has done so since 2018. EFP was established to enhance NATO’s deterrence and defence posture and is a strong demonstration of Alliance solidarity. The presence of almost all NATO allies makes clear that an attack on one ally will be considered an attack on the whole Alliance. Specifically, eFP consists of four multinational battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the United States respectively. This multinational force amounts to almost 4,000 troops and form part of the biggest reinforcement of NATO’s collective defence in a generation. Since the beginning of eFP, Denmark has contributed to the British lead multinational battlegroup in Estonia. In 2018 and 2020, Denmark contributed with up to 200 soldiers, and we will continue to contribute with staff officers through 2021. We expect to send out a similar, company-size, contribution in 2022.

Q 3: In the Domain of NATO’s Air Policing Mission, Denmark is playing a highly vital and invaluable role from the beginning of this operation in 2004. What accomplishment has been achieved so far and how do you see the importance of this operation for Denmark, as well as for its Nordic and Baltic neighbors?

It is important for Denmark to uphold security and stability in our own backyard, including in the Arctic and in the Baltic Sea Region. Therefore, we have frequently contributed to NATO’s Air Policing in Iceland and NATO’s Baltic Air Policing.

Iceland is a close and important ally, and with several contributions to NATO’s Air Policing in Iceland (also known as Iceland Peacetime Preparedness Needs, IPPN) we have assisted in safeguarding Iceland’s air space and territorial integrity. When Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania joined the Alliance in 2004, it was essential to assist them in upholding their sovereignty in airspace. Providing equal protection to all allies is an important measure to demonstrate our solidarity, resolve, and collective defence.

We participated with the first Danish contribution to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing in 2004 and have contributed seven times since then with F-16 Fighter Aircraft and personnel. Most recently in 2019, we contributed with four F-16 Fighter Aircraft and around 60 personnel on the air base in Siauliai in Lithuania. We expect to be there again this autumn. The primary tasks for the Danish F-16 Fighter aircraft are to conduct patrols and be prepared for any violations of airspace. The Danish fighter aircraft along with allied fighter aircraft assigned to NATO’s Air Policing mission are often launched to visually identify Russian Air Force aircraft. A high proportion of the Russian flight activity is due to the geographical location of the Russian enclave Kaliningrad, since Russian aircraft regularly fly from the mainland to Kaliningrad and back.

As you might know, NATO’s Air Policing was expanded in 2014 after Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, with a second air policing presence in Estonia under NATO’s Assurance Measures. I believe this demonstrates solidarity and contributes to the security and stability in the Baltic Sea region, which is increasingly affected by Russia’s destabilizing and aggressive actions. The situation in the Baltic Sea region requires our presence, not least in NATO’s airspace, to ensure safety and security and we are proud to contribute to that. Our collective protection of the Alliance’s airspace is a strong sign of solidarity in action. 

Additional news: Denmark reaffirms its commitment to command NATO Mission Iraq , May 2021 (NATO)

The Royal Danish Armed-Forces  (U.S Europe World Affairs)

Acknowledgment: Image of H.E. Ambassador Liselotte Plesner, Permanent Representative of Denmark to NATO ©Denmark’s mission to NATO/Danish MFA/US Europe World Affairs. The interview is subject to Copyright Law. ©Denmark’s mission to NATO/Danish MFA/NATO/ Danish Armed-Forces/Denmark mission to USA,UN /U.S Europe World Affairs.

Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance

The Memorial Day in the United States 

The history of “Memorial Day” or “Decoration Day” goes back to 1864 in remembrance of those who lost their lives during the Civil War in the battle of Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania. The day was only observed as the remembrance day in several States until 1873 when it became an official holiday first in New York and soon after across the U.S by more States.                                                                                In 1966 the House resolution of 587 introduced by Congressman Samuel S. Stratton, recognized the observance of May 5th, 1866 in Waterloo New York the original date and place of the Memorial Day. Throughout the decades, from 1868 to 1970, the observance of the Memorial Day had been held on May 30th.                                 

In 1971 the Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday of May as the Federal holiday. Further to that in 2000 the Congress established the “National Moment of Remembrance” act by inviting all Americans at 3:00 p.m to observe (in their own ways) moments of remembrance, honoring, respect and prayer for all fallen heroes.

By Editor in Chief                                         Sources: U.S Army 

Special Edition Interview with Hon. VICE ADMIRAL JOSÉ M. NÚÑEZ TORRENTE, Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force Somalia Operation ATALANTA

Interview with Hon. VICE ADMIRAL JOSÉ M. NÚÑEZ TORRENTE, Operation Commander of the European Union Naval Force Somalia Operation ATALANTA, conducted by Editor in Chief.

 

 

 

 

Vice Admiral, we are tremendously honored to have this interview with you. Thank you very much indeed for your time sir.

 

Q 1: In December 2020 the EU NAVFOR celebrated its 12 years of Operation Atalanta. Could you please briefly outline the main achieved success of this operation in the last ten years.

Hon. VICE ADMIRAL JOSÉ M. NÚÑEZ TORRENTE: When EU member states launched Operation Atalanta in December 2008, piracy in Somali waters was increasing dramatically. Container ships plying the east-west trade routes between Europe and Asia were under constant and very real threat. 

Over the past 12 years, EU NAVFOR has managed to work hand in hand not only with other multinational naval forces operating in this region, such as the US-led CMF, and NATO until 2016, which is one of our most important partners in the region, but also with the navies of independently deployed nations such as Japan and South Korea, all of which have significant maritime interests present. As a result, piracy has been drastically suppressed, with the last confirmed act of piracy taking place in April 2019.

This significant success does not mean, however, that piracy has been eradicated. Operation ATALANTA has forced criminal networks associated with piracy to diversify their activities and engage in other illicit maritime crimes, keeping piracy as a dormant activity waiting for the right opportunity to reemerge. 

This extremely complicated context has led to the modifications in Operation ATALANTA´s new mandate, approved in December 2020 to enable the Operation to strengthen maritime situational awareness and counter maritime threats beyond piracy.

Q 2: In January 2021 the Operation Atlanta received its new mandate. With this new mandate how long the Operation Atalanta has been further extended in time and expanded in its mission?

Hon. VICE ADMIRAL JOSÉ M. NÚÑEZ TORRENTE:  First of all, I must say that due to the success of Operation Atalanta and  other international initiatives, the situation today is very different. The last incident of piracy in our area of operations was in April 2019. However, it must always emphasize that although piracy is contained, it has not been eradicated. Incidents that we can classify as “suspicious approaches” continue to occur in the area of operations and the networks that were engaged in piracy have adapted their activities to other illegal activities with less risk, retaining their ability to carry out acts of piracy, as soon as the situation is favorable to them. 

This is the main reason why the mandate of Operation ATALANTA has been extended every two years, and why the last extension in December 2020 for another two years included additional tasks. Now, besides combating piracy and protecting UN World Food Program (WFP) ships and other vulnerable vessels in the area of operations, which has been and is our main mission, we also contribute to eradicating other illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, arms smuggling and illegal charcoal trafficking, activities in which these pirate networks are becoming involved due to the presence of anti-piracy naval forces in the area.

Q 3: Air assets have been recognized highly valuable in Operation Atalanta from its start. Could you please speak about the EU NAVFOR and its Air operations (Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance)?

Hon. VICE ADMIRAL JOSÉ M. NÚÑEZ TORRENTE: The air assets make an essential contribution with their specific capabilities, adding range and flexibility to the joint effort. They are mainly used to carry out Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance, as you said, and collect data which is processed by our analysts. This contributes to all aspects of Op ATALANTA and supports the full spectrum of maritime operations, especially those related to maritime security. 

Additionally, we have to highlight that they can be tasked for other activities, such as SAR (Search and Rescue) missions, in response to an emergency or other situation’s demanding immediate assistance. 

Fortunately, we can count not only on our own resources but also on the MPRA of our partners in the area of operations, sharing information and distributing action zones to guarantee the maximum effectiveness and efficiency of our resources.

  • Have there been any upgrades in EU NAVFOR’s Air resources in the recent years?

Hon. VICE ADMIRAL JOSÉ M. NÚÑEZ TORRENTE: Since the beginning of the Operation, the number of deployed MPRA during rotations has been the same with the P-3 ORION as core asset. These assets are one of the reasons for our success, together with the deployed Air Detachments supporting their every need, every step of the way. The means and characteristics of the P-3 ORION offer us a wide range of capabilities that cover all operational requirements.

Unmanned aerial vehicles like the embarked Scan Eagle also reinforce our ISR capabilities. Therefore, we are more than pleased to continue with this outstanding asset as part of our operation and, at the same time, be able to offer its capabilities to those of our partners who may need them.

Q 4: The United States Navy has been the supporting partner for the EU NAVFOR in Operation Atalanta from the beginning of this Operation. Could you please comment on the significance of this partnership.

Hon. VICE ADMIRAL JOSÉ M. NÚÑEZ TORRENTE: As we have been already saying, trying to make the best use of the maritime assets already present in the area, EU NAVFOR ATALANTA has created a specific framework, the Cooperation Concept of Operation ATALANTA (COCOA), which provides for enhanced cooperation in our area of operations and foresees various types and durations to contribute and support the Operation. Currently, we are cooperating with the US Navy in several different frameworks.

An example could be the increased coordination between Operation EU NAVFOR ATALANTA and Combined Task Forces 150 and 151 of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) under command of a Vice Admiral of the US Navy and a considerable U.S. participation in means and capabilities. As already mentioned in the first question, we maintain the best of relations with both of them and we can coordinate our efforts, if necessary for maximum effectiveness and efficiency with our available assets.

On the other hand, the US Navy has regularly supported the assets of Operation ATALANTA. As an example, we could mention the Replenishment at Sea (RAS) operations that, on recent occasions, ATALANTA naval assets have carried out with the USNS Big Horn of the U.S. Sixth Fleet.

Q 5: Please tell us about the crucial role that the Spanish Naval Force is playing in the Operation Atalanta.

Hon. VICE ADMIRAL JOSÉ M. NÚÑEZ TORRENTE:  Spain is fully committed to the EU’s external action. We understand that EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA is a tool that offers a vital service to Member States by providing maritime security and sending a message of protection, stability and support to both WFP vessels and the maritime community. At the same time, we support different institutions in Somalia, together with our two EU sister missions: EUCAP Somalia and EUTM Somalia within the EU framework of the “Integrated Approach” for Somalia, in order to reach the desired situation that will allow local authorities to take responsibility for sustainable development and security in the area, as soon as possible. 

In this vein, Spain is making a great effort to lead the Operation by dedicating means and permanent personnel out of our strong commitment to those principles of security, stability and support to Somalia.

News from: VICE ADMIRAL JOSÉ M. NÚÑEZ TORRENTE

Additional news: Spain’s contributions and leadership in EU NAVFOR

Acknowledgment: Image Hon. VICE ADMIRAL JOSÉ M. NÚÑEZ TORRENTE, Operation Commander of the European Union Naval Force Somalia Operation ATALANTA, April 2021©EUNAVFOR. The Interview is subject to Copyright Law. ©EU NAVFOR/ Spanish Naval Force / U.S Naval force/ U.S Europe World Affairs.

U.S-NATO Member, Partner Nations’ Armed-Forces in Defender Europe 21

28,000 Multinational Participants of 26 Nations’ Armed Forces from:

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States with the U.S Army, U.S Navy, U.S Air Force in: Defender Europe 2021.

There are also participants of 2,100 National Guard from: Alabama, Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia added with 800 Army Reserve joining in this U.S-led military exercise from March until mid June when Defender 21 finalizes its activities and training  

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the continuation of the previous year, Defender Europe 2021 is to emphasize NATO’s Collective Defense. 
Its objectives underline: 

  • To train and exercise together for establishing the much higher scope of readiness;
  • To fortify the synchronous interoperability of U.S-NATO member and partner nations’ Armed–Forces.

Announced by the Army earlier this March, Defender 2021 also incorporates several linked exercises including: Swift Response, Immediate Response, Saber Guardian, Command Post Exercise.

More news: Defender Europe 2021, U.S Army Europe and Africa

Acknowledgments: Image: DEFENDER-Europe 21. Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division conduct static-line training with Royal Army soldiers from 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment. May  6, 2021 ©DoD/ U.S Army Europe and Africa/ Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Muncy.                                                  Sources: U.S Army Europe and Africa                By Editor in Chief  (Copyrighted material)

Special Edition Interview with NATO Deputy Spokesperson, the Hon. Mr. Piers Cazalet,

 

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.

    • 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. 

The V Corps in Poland Made the Long-Awaited U.S Army Presence to be Materialized

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 

More related news: 

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin with Polish Minister of Defence Mariusz Błaszczak to reinforce the importance of longstanding U.S.-Poland strategic alliance.   U.S Embassy PL

V Corps Headquarters (Forward) in Poland to be located in Poznan   U.S Army

Minister of National Defense of Poland and Lloyd Austin, the US secretary of defense confirmed the development of the intense military cooperation.    MOD of Poland

Acknowledgment : video ©U.S Defense/©V Corps/© Staff Sgt. Scott Longstreet November 11, 2020

By Editor in Chief (Copyrighted material)

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. 

The U.S Flag Day June 14

Uncommon, paramount and brave, for centuries the U.S flag has been standing as the pillars of the Human Rights and Democracy……..transcending every political thought and the form of governments.                     

The U.S flag not only illustrates the red, white, and the blue blended with the splendorous stars, but above that it presents and magnifies the ideals of Freedom and Liberty on the world-dimensional setting. It is the unparalleled, first……. and the final aspirations of hope.

June 13, 2018 © U.S Army

News from:   U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria              News from U.S Army Europe and Africa 

The Story of the United States Armed-Forces in Europe

Happy Birthday U.S. Army Europe

 

 

The Story of the United States Armed-Forces in Europe,

…….is the story of General George Washington’s continental Army …..and the French idealistic commander, Gen. de Lafayette.                                                                                                                                                         It is the story of greatest Army in the World, the United States Army,  who has defended Europe from long centuries ago…..until the present time in an unconditional ways.                                                        It is the story of the greatest partnership of U.S-European Armed-Forces, the formation of the closest Allies fighting in the same battle ground…… for keeping the light of freedom …….and humanity alive.  It is the story of U.S-European shared values….shared ideals and belief, that goes beyond the time and the geographical locations.       

 The story of the United States Armed Forces in Europe is the story of the U.S Army and its vivid lustrous Stars………that shine….and fortify the ideals of Liberty and Freedom on European continent and beyond.

………..the tale of bravery……sacrifices…..and heroism that project the well destined Triumph and Victory of Light.   

                

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

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