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 withthe U.S Army,U.S Navy,U.S Air Forcein: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-ledmilitary exercise from March until mid June when Defender 21 finalizes its activities and training.
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.
Sources: U.S Army Europe and Africa By Editor in Chief (Copyrighted material)View the article
An Exclusive Interview with U.S. European Command-1 (Part-2)
An exclusive Interview with the Spokesperson of U.S. European Command conducted by Editor in Chief (Part-2)
Q 4: Earlier in March in support of NATO Exercise “Dynamic Manta” and other operations, guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook(DDG75) provided overall defense for the “Charles de Gaulle Carrier StrikeGroup” (CDG CSG) in the Mediterranean.
Could you comment on the importance of this exercise in the pivotal context of the U.S- French military partnership?
This was not the first time the two vessels trained together. In 2019, USS DonaldCook joined CDG in exercise FANAL 19, which involved operations across all maritime warfare disciplines. In recent history, the U.S. Navy has worked side-by-side with the French Navy throughout the European and African theater of operation. In 2016, USS Ross (DDG 71) operated with CDG as part of Combined Task Force 473 in the Mediterranean. In April 2018, France, the UK and the U.S. conducted strikes into Syria in response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own people. In 2020, the Ross operated with CDG in eastern Mediterranean as part of Operations Chammal and Inherent Resolve, the overarching missions against the expansion of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
France is one of America’s oldest allies dating back to 1781 with their support in the U.S. Revolutionary War. This strong bond between our two nations reinforced our relationship and tested our joint combat skills during both World Wars. Today, this relationship continues in that great tradition of exceptional partnership between the U.S. and French militaries.
Q 5: USEUCOM maintains a crucial role in assisting allies and partner nations in the fight against Covid-19.
Can you describe the measures USEUCOM has executed in this regard in the military and civilian arenas?
USEUCOM support to our Allies and partners during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has been unwavering and resolute. A mere nine days after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, USEUCOM’s crisis and humanitarian response professionals identified and facilitated the swift transfer of $150,000 worth of medical equipment and related supplies from a military warehouse in Livorno to hospitals and clinics throughout Italy. The first Italian assistance mission on March 20, 2021 was USEUCOM’s first formal support to NATO Allies during the pandemic.
Since then, the command has programmed more than $21 million in assistance across 24 European nations, spanning the continent from Latvia to Greece and the Czech Republic to Azerbaijan. From delivering personal protective equipment and sanitizing solutions for schools and assisted-living facilities to donating medical equipment for first responders, hospitals and clinics, USEUCOM personnel supported these life-saving efforts.
In addition, USEUCOM turned to its existing relationships established through the U.S. Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program (SPP.) The SPP pairs a U.S. state’s National Guard with a partner nation in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship.
In November 2020, a six-member National Guard medical team from U.S. states Texas and Nebraska deployed to their SPP partner nation, the Czech Republic, to provide medical support as that nation faced threatening levels of nationwide infection.
Two SPP nations also provided COVID-19 support to the United States, as two separate teams – one from Poland, the other Romania – deployed to the U.S. to provide support in their partner states.
An Exclusive Interview with U.S. European Command-1 (Part-1)
An exclusive Interview with the Spokesperson of U.S. European Commandconducted by Editor in Chief (Part-1)
Sir, we are greatly honored to have the occasion of this interview with you. Thank you very much for your time.
Q 1:With your permission I would like to start with an overview of the U.S European Command, and the vital role it plays in European stability, security, and defense.
Can you please tell us about USEUCOM, its mission, the strategic interests it represents? And the most recent developments in the status of its force posture.
U.S. European Command is one of 11 U.S. Department of Defense combatant commands, each with a geographic or functional mission that provides command and control of military forces in peace and war. Headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, USEUCOM’s mission is to execute a full range of multi-domain operations in coordination with Allies and partners to support NATO, deter Russia, assist in the defense of Israel, enable global operations and counter trans-national threats to defend the U.S. homeland and fortify Euro-Atlantic security.
USEUCOM plays an important role to meet the emergent challenges and opportunities in an era of great power competition as the U.S.’ principal military instrument in Europe. Our presence in Europe provides the U.S. military with the strategic access vital to meet our NATO commitment to respond to threats against our Allies. With both permanent and rotational forces in Europe, we are better positioned to deter current and potential threats, assure our Allies and respond in a timely way should deterrence fail.
Our rotational forces allows for more flexibility to deter threats when and where they arise, and are deliberate and defensive in nature. We have established a joint, persistent rotational presence of air, land and sea assets in the region to support our Allies and deter Russia from aggressive actions in the European theater.
An example of our rotational force posture is the Marine Corps Rotational Force – Europe, which focuses on regional engagements throughout Europe by conducting various exercises, arctic cold-weather and mountain warfare training and military-to-military engagements, which enhance overall interoperability of the U.S. Marine Corps with our Allies and partners. Another example of our rotational forces is the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine (JMTG-U), which is the name given to the mission of training, equipping, training center development and doctrinal assistance to the Ukrainian armed forces.
In regards to our force posture in Europe, the U.S. Secretary of Defense recently announced that the U.S. will base an additional 500 U.S. Soldiers in Wiesbaden, Germany as part of two new units, a Multi-Domain Task Force and a Theater Fires Command. The Multi-Domain Task Force-Europe, expected to activate Sept.16, 2021, will be comprised of field artillery; composite air and missile defense; intelligence, cyberspace, electronic warfare and space; aviation and a brigade support element. The Theater Fires Command, expected to active Oct. 16, 2021, will improve readiness and multi-national interoperability by integrating joint and multi-national fires in exercises and operations, in support of U.S. Army Europe and Africa.
Additionally, the U.S. Army announced in February 2020 the reactivation of an additional corps headquarters, the historic V Corps, to be located in the United States at Fort Knox, Kentucky, with a forward command post in Europe. The V Corps Headquarters (Forward) was officially established in Poznan, Poland, Nov. 20, 2020. The primary mission of the new forward headquarters is 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 United States Armed Forces and its new Strategic Concept in Europe
While still the state and non -state sponsored adversarial threats are posing challenges to the security and stability of European landscape –the United States has audibly in many ways, reaffirmed its commitment to Europe.
Albeit with the less number of its troops, yet with the deployable rotational forces, the U.S has promised for a long stay, to defend and fortifies its European partners.
Coextending with that– the United States military has conceptualized a new strategic planning which empowers the U.S with the 30,000 troops, and the stepped up rotational forces, to maintain the same efficacy of 300,000 boots on the grounds.
With this new military concept of the Department of Defense formulated in the recent years as ‘The European Reassurance Initiative (ERI)’ signed by President Obama in December 2014, the U.S conveys explicitly and forthright that its Armed-Forces will always be part of European allies and provide every assurance for European Security and Defense.
With that the U.S Armed Forces in Europe has redefined its vision, role– reshaping its partnerships with the European counterparts into a new level of political and military proximity and closeness.
Under the same scheme, the U.S European Command has intensified in the recent years its engagements in providing more assistance to enhance and upgrade the European Armed Forces from south and the Black sea to the northern European hemisphere……. beyond the Baltic sea.
The new strategic planning in Europe encompasses a wide range of trainings, joint maneuvers and exercises which are formulated to increase:
The interoperability of U.S-European Armed-Forces;
Modernization of European military weaponry equipment, technology and technique;
Advancement and the upgrade of European military capabilities from air to the cyber- space.
The planning goes further with a special focus to bolster:
European capability for deterrence;
Their strength and their combat power, simultaneously.
This new concept and its wide-scope of applicable approach– has also inaugurated a new chapter towards the standardization of U.S-European Armed-Forces, enabling them to prepare and maintain the high readiness for countering the global crisis, in a curtailed frame of time yet with the most effective measures in place.
“We will be always going to be part of Coalition if not Alliance. All our best and most reliable Partners come from Europe whether NATO or Partnership for Peace Countries. So the Chance for practice with them is a great opportunity to continue to build the trust with them”Excerpts from the statement Commanding General of U.S Army Europe, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges. In the interview during the NATO Exercise, Norway March 2016
By Catherine Stella Schmidt (Copyrighted material)
A view to U.S European Command and its enduring partnerships with Europe
Within the NATO and Transatlantic Relations the U.S European Command is working closely with its European partners:
To maintain Peace and Security in Europe;
To work with its European Allies in solving global issues;
To provide Diplomatic, Military and Humanitarian interventions in the crisis and conflicts zones, in order to prevent the up rise and escalations of them that could otherwise expand to Europe and to the rest of the world.
The U.S European Command also provides the largest and most prominent Military Training and Cultural Exchange Center, in partnership with die Bundeswehr, for Training, Updating, Joint Exercise and the Military Maneuvers. Most European Armed-Forces are taking part in these programmes.
It is important to note that up to present day, the European and especially German Armed Forces are the largest Military stationed in the United States for various Exercises and other Military liaisons exchange programmes.
There has been explicitly a great desire announced by the United States to welcome more in U.S, the European Armed-Forces for forming closer partnerships and joint Military programmes which could lead to the crystallization of NATO’s latest strategy on the Smart-Defence and the joint Forces.
The U.S Command in Europe, simultaneously, is engaged in other Missions:
Helping people: helping to build self-sustaining capability in the Eastern Europe and other locations that are recovering from conflicts or war.
And working with its European inter-governmental, International as well as NGO partners by providing Humanitarian and Financial assistance to help rebuild stability and prosperity for the conflicts or natural disaster affected Countries.
The latest illustrative projects in the recent years are:
Help for flood relief in Poland, Serbia, Albania and Moldova
Water pumps in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
44 school renovations, 28 hospital/clinic renovations and equipment upgrades, 33 emergency services/water related upgrades in Romania
By Catherine Stella Schmidt ( Copyrighted material)
The U.S-European Ready Forces
The U.S European Ready Forces were established under NATO frameworks for supporting the Allied. The Unit has the combination of : US Army Europe, US Marine Force Europe, US Naval Forces Europe, US Air-Forces in Europe and the Special Operational Command. It has the Rapid Deployable Unit for the Contingency Operation that works in a coordinated scheme and approach with its European partners.
The Operational Capability:
The Ready Forces can establish and foster Regional Partners for NATO Missions, inter alia, Combat, Counterinsurgency Operations, Cyber Security and Logistics;
Can provide the most updated Military Training to its European and Coalition partners for synchronizing the joint Forces and the efforts;
The Unit has a wide range of engagements in the Peace Operations within the NATO missions.
And has a Fast Responding capabilities, at the same time, to provide Humanitarian Assistance in the Natural or War/Conflicts disasters areas.
By Catherine Stella Schmidt
Source: US EUCOM/US Army Europe
Special edition October 2015
Interview with Minister Lucia Puttrich and her official visit to U.S Army European Command
Interview with H.E. Minister Lucia Puttrich, Minister of European and Federal Affairs and Representative of the State of Hessen at the Federal Government of Germany, conducted by U.S Europe World Affairs Editor in Chief.
Your Excellency thank you very much indeed for accepting this interview.
H.E. Minister Lucia Puttrich: My visit to the US-Army Europe headquarters in Wiesbaden was very interesting. We, as state government, have a close and trusting relationship to the US armed forces in Hessen. This is certainly due to a long history. We, as Germans, are very grateful to the USA that we were given the chance to rebuild our country according to democratic principles after the Second World War. For this, important decisions were made in Hessen. In 1948, the Hessian Constitution was signed at the Headquarter of the US armed forces and on July 1, 1948, the eleven West-German Minister-Presidents were given the mandate to prepare a German constitution.
The good cooperation, including in the civil-military area, is highly important for the safety of our citizens, especially in the face of present threats and challenges. Meeting Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges and his team convinced me of this [necessity]. Speaking about the good relationship between the Bundeswehr and the US Army here in Europe, it is of course remarkable that a Bundeswehr-General serves as chief of staff here in Wiesbaden. This is not self-understood but a strong sign for the importance of the German-American cooperation in this area.
Q 2: How the American presence in the South is received and welcomed by the local community.
H.E. Minister Lucia Puttrich: We, the people of Hessen, are open-minded and good hosts. We make sure that the soldiers, the civil employees and their families feel at ease here. Moving the European headquarters of the US army from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden is a sign for the good relations between the USA and Hessen. This was a groundbreaking decision of the US army with a highly symbolic character. The people of Wiesbaden and the people in the region have gained new neighbors with the relocation. We want to maintain the same close and good relationship we are presently enjoying. The people of Hessen have a strong welcoming culture.
Q 3: What are the outcomes/benefit of this friendship between your government and great community in the south with the Americans.
H.E. Minister Lucia Puttrich: The German-American friendship also has a positive influence on the civil-military cooperation – not only with the US armed forces but also with the local command of the Bundeswehr. The trusting cooperation and the continuous exchange of information between the State Government, the ministry of the interior and the respective armed forces is remarkable.
While Military capabilities are known by the number of the troops and Military personnel –Power and Defense assurance are projected by advanced equipment, technology, the best training that could execute the required strategies, command and tactics in the theater fields.
The U.S Amy Europe and its 7th Army Training Command in Germany, has been the main center to build the NATO members’ Armed-Forces by regular training that to maximize the interoperability; the multinational exercise, joint maneuvers, the exchange of ideas and commands — aimed all to fortify the U.S-European Armed-Forces and bolster the NATO members’ Military to the higher capabilities of Physical and Cyber Defense.
In early 2016 the United States has announced also the increase of the budget for NATO in theEuropean Reassurance Initiative plan,as a further demonstrations of U.S commitment to safeguard European Freedom, Peace and Security.
The Sea Breeze 2016 has been launched in the Black Sea, with the main objectives of enhancing:
Allied Combat Skills,
and the Regional Security in the context of Air, Land and Sea.
There are 13 participant Nations from: Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States in this Training Exercise to maximize their joint capabilities. The United States also provides most required Military assets to execute this Training.
With more than 5000 Soldiers and Airmen from 10 NATO Allied Armed-Forces, Swift Response 16 was one of the greatest Multi-National Military Crisis Response Training for Airborne Forces. The Training was executed in Poland and Germany from May 27- June 26, with a successful outcomes.
The Armed -Forces participating in this Training-Exercise were from: Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United States.
The Overall objective in the Exercise was formulated to:
Enhance the Readiness of the Combat Core of the U.S. Global Response Force
Follow-on Operations alongside Allied High-Readiness Forces in Europe (described by the U.S Army Europe)
The U.S Air Force from Europe participated in one of NATO’s recent Training Exercise ‘Real Thaw’ hosted by Portuguese Armed-Forces. The Training aimed to upgrade the participants Nations’ skills in the non-Combat Operations while increasing the Allied Interoperability and effectiveness in both Offensive and Defensive Air Operations.
The Real Thaw was carried out from February 22- March 3, with the participation of Air Forces from Belgium, Denmark, France, Norway, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, the United States, and other NATO Forces.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to be here in Portugal,” “We’re excited to be here working side by side with our NATO Allies honing our Joint Air Interoperability as well as Tactical Skills.” stated Lt. Col. Rob Fowler, from U.S 493rd Fighter Squadron Operations Supervisor.
“Real Thaw gives us the opportunity to train and learn from other Countries experiences,” “Here we are able to effectively learn how to use each other’s assets and how to play together if there is ever a time we come together in a Deployed Theater.” expressed Officer Buzzer from 301st Portuguese Air Base F-16M Pilot.
In the ongoing process of Enhancement, in August 2015 the U.S. Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) technicians form the Alabama National Guard’s 666th, held a special Training for the Security Officers of the Close Protection Force from the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo ‘EULEX’s CPF’ on Camp Bondsteel.
The Training was formulated to upgrade, the Close Protection Force Unite of the EULEX, with the latest techniques on how to detect the explosive devices including the IEDs
U.S Army Aviation with the Army Multinational Battle Group-East (Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers from California,Connecticut and Florida) and Swiss aviators entered in the Rescue Effort Operation in the fire disaster area in Kosovo on 29th of August to stop the fire and save lives.
More than 47,000 gallons of water were dropped to the affected area by helicopters.
The Operation was part of U.S Army Europe which supports the European Armed-Forces in all category of emergencies including war, conflicts and Natural disaster.
Rapid Trident the U.S Army Europe-led Cooperative Training Exercise
From 20-31 July 2015 the U.S Army in Europe conducted a joint Exercise with its European Counterparts.
Rapid Trident, was part of U.S Army Europe that had its Training intensity on Peacekeeping and Stability Operations.
There were over 1800 members of Armed-Forces from 18 EU States as well as Canada.
Participating Armed-Forces were from: Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukrainian and the U.S.
“I strongly welcome the Spanish commitment of PATRIOT missiles and troops to the NATO deployment in southern Turkey,”
“The Alliance’s southern border is located in a difficult neighbourhood and considerable instability remains in Syria and across the region. Spain’s clear demonstration of Alliance solidarity is critically important to the people of Turkey and for all members of the Alliance,” concluded General Breedlove.
The Patriot missile Defense System has been placed by NATO in Turkey since 2012, in response to request made by Turkish government. The mission was launched by the United States, Deutschland and Netherlands who are providing the main Military assets for this NATO-led Mission.
Following the decision made by the Ministry of Defense of Spain in mid-September 2014, Spain has also announced to join the Allied in Patriot Missile Defense mission in Turkey.
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