The United States in NATO
SPECIAL EDITION INTERVIEW WITH U.S ARMY KFOR REGIONAL COMMAND EAST (Series-2)
Interview with Capt. Jace Rivard, KFOR Regional Command East Public Affairs Officer, conducted by Editor in Chief
Sir, we are very grateful to have this special occasion with you. Thank you for accepting the invitation.
Q 1: The United States has been continuously supporting Kosovo by all means of political, diplomatic, economic assistance as well as military contributions in the multinational NATO-led KFOR mission. Could you give us the posture of the U.S troops in this mission at the current time?
U.S. Soldiers in Kosovo are currently supporting NATO’s KFOR Regional Command – East which is one of two regional commands postured beneath KFOR higher headquarters. The mission continues to be ensuring a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all people in Kosovo.
And what battalions, National Guards, Army Reserve, and Active Duty are parts of this mission?
KFOR Regional Command-East is currently led by Commander, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), Col. Brey Hopkins. The Brigade Headquarters is from the Vermont Army National Guard and is currently deployed to Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. The aviation Task Force supporting KFOR RC-E at Camp Bondsteel from its normal headquarters in Connecticut and is constructed of units of 1st Battalion, 169th Aviation Regiment, with the Connecticut, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico and Maryland Army National Guard. The KFOR RC-E Maneuver Battalion is led by Commander, 1st Squadron, 172nd Cavalry Regiment (Mountain), Maj. Zach Fike. This Vermont headquartered unit is currently deployed to Camp Novo Selo and Camp Nothing Hill in Kosovo. There are a multitude of enabling units to include an Active Duty medical support company from Fort Bragg, N.C. as well as a detachment from the 29th Military Police Company with the Maryland Army National Guard.
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With the aim of of fortifying alliances and enhancing interoperability among the NATO allies and partners nations, the annual NATO Baltic region exercise Trident was executed from 15-19 of March.
As every year the U.S Air Force has been the indispensable components of this training event since the start of this exercise. This year the U.S Aircraft from the 492nd and 493rd Fighter Squadrons, and a number of Airmen from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, took part in the Trident 2021.
- The core of Trident 2021 was to signify and expand the operational concept of the Agile Combat Employment (ACE), the U.S Air Force highlighted.
“The exercise was an incredible success,” “The team overcame every challenge we faced and achieved every objective for the exercise.” explained Captain Aaron Hieronymus, 429nd Fighter Squadron weapons and tactics flight commander. ©U.S Air Force Europe and Africa/ Airman 1st Class Jessi Monte. March 22,2021.
U.S 493rd Fighter Squadron F-15C Eagles fly back to Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, from Estonia after completion of Baltic Trident March 19, 2021
See more on NATO Trident: U.S solidifies NATO, allied partnership at Trident Juncture 2015
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An exclusive interview with MAJ. Sam K. Otto, Spokesperson of the Public Affairs, U.S. Army KFOR Regional Command East (Series-1)
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.
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President Trump Reaffirmed the U.S Commitment to the NATO Alliance
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg traveled to U.S, and met with President Donald Trump on April 12. During this meeting President Trump reassured NATO of the United States’ unwavering commitment and the continuation of supports
Press conference by President Donald Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. April 12 2017 © NATO Press Office
The two leaders also discussed a wide scope of subjects covering: Syria, Iraq, defeating ISIS, other International security issues, and the up coming NATO summit in its headquarters Brussels in May.
Excerpts from President Trump’s remarks in the joint press conference:
“Sixty-eight years ago this month, not far from where we are gathered today, President Harry Truman spoke at the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty. In the nearly seven decades since Harry Truman spoke those words, the NATO alliance has been the bulwark of international peace and security.”
“NATO allies defeated communism and liberated the captive nations of the Cold War. They secured the longest period of unbroken peace that Europe has ever known. This enduring partnership is rooted out of so many different things, but our common security is always number one, and our common devotion to Human dignity and Freedom.”
“It’s my hope that NATO will take on an increased role in supporting our Iraqi partners in their battle against ISIS.”
“We’re not here to stand on ceremony, but to develop real strategies to achieve safety, security and peace. We’re here to protect the Freedom and prosperity of our citizens and to give them the future they so richly deserve.
Secretary general, I’m honored to have you here today and to reaffirm our commitment to this alliance and to the enduring values that we proudly — and I mean very proudly — share.” April 12, 2017 ©NATO Press Office
Excerpts from NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg’s remarks in the joint press conference:
“Thank you so much, Mr. President. We just had an excellent and very productive meeting. And it’s really an honor to meet you for the first time, here in the White House.
We agree that NATO is a bedrock of security both for Europe and for the United States. Two World Wars and a Cold War have taught us all that peace in Europe is not only important for Europeans, but is also important for the prosperity and the security of North America.
So a strong NATO is good for Europe, but a strong NATO is also good for the United States. And therefore I welcome the very strong commitment of the United States to the security of Europe. We see this commitment not only in words but also in deeds.
Over the past months, thousands of US troops have been deploying to Europe. A clear demonstration that America stands with Allies to protect peace and defend our Freedom.”
“Together, we represent half of the world’s economic and military power. No other superpower has ever had such a strategic advantage.”
“We discussed many different topics during our meeting today, including the horrendous use of chemical weapons in Syria. Any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, cannot go unanswered, and those responsible must be held accountable.
So Mr. President, thank you once again. I look forward to working with you to keeping the Alliance strong.” April 12, 2017 © NATO Press Office
Addition: NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg in a town hall meeting at George Washington University’s Elliott School.
Sources: The White House (Office of the Press Secretary)/NATO Press Office By Catherine Stella Schmidt (Copyrighted material)
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Vice President Pence Re-assured Europe the United States’ Commitment
Vice President Mike Pence and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meeting at NATO Headquarters Brussels. February 20, 2017 © NATO
In his official visit to Europe, Vice President Mike Pence met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels and discussed crucial issues on Transatlantic Defense and Security. Vice President Pence reassured NATO and the European leaders of the United States’ wide-range partnerships with Europe …….and the enduring commitments to Transatlantic Relations.
Excerpts from the remarks by Vice President Mike Pence in the press conference with NATO Secretary General:
“It is my privilege here at the NATO Headquarters to express the strong support of President Trump and the United States of America for NATO and our transatlantic alliance. ”
“The United States has been a proud and faithful member of NATO since its founding in 1949. This alliance plays a crucial role in promoting peace and prosperity in the North Atlantic and, frankly, in the entire world.”
“The United States’ commitment to NATO is clear. ” February 20, 2017 © The White House
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U.S Naval Force in NATO Maritime Exercise Dynamic Manta 2017
The United States Naval Force in Europe maintains a crucial role in most NATO Maritime Joint-Training…… Maneuver and Exercises — as of recent time in Dynamic Manta in the Mediterranean Sea, the southern coast of Italy.
The exercise accentuates the aims on increasing the interoperability and proficiency in multi-dimensional-facet of the Naval capacities, Anti-Submarine and Anti-Surface Warfare in NATO member states. Dynamic Manta was also carried out in 2015 and 2016, with the similar objectives. This time it is hosted by Italy, led by NATO and being executed from March 13 to 25.
USS Porter (DDG 78) transits the Mediterranean Sea, March 9, 2017 © U.S Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams
Announced by the U.S Naval Forces in Europe/Africa, the United States has, in addition to the Naval units, provided:
- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) “Freedom’s Champion”
- A nuclear powered attack submarine assigned to Commander,
- Task Force CTF 69, two P-8A Poseidons assigned to CTF 67
- And one P-3 Orion from the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11.
“Exercise Dynamic Manta is an excellent way for NATO allies to build resilient warfare capabilities, including anti-submarine warfare capabilities, through realistic training and challenging scenarios. The chance to participate in an exercise that enhances NATO’s overall multi-lateral operations is a tremendous opportunity, and we look forward to working with all of the participating nations.” Highlighted Commander Andria Slough, Commanding Officer of the USS Porter (DDG 78) March 14, 2017 ©U.S Naval Forces Europe/Africa
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“The United States is absolutely committed to the defense of NATO, and that means having full-spectrum capabilities not only within U.S. forces, but with NATO and partner nations as well.” highlighted the U.S Department of Defense in the news-article on December 13,2016.
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 the European Reassurance Initiative plan, as a further demonstrations of U.S commitment to safeguard European Freedom, Peace and Security.
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US-European Armed-Forces Stronger together-6
Joint Declaration by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, and the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
October 10, 2016 © US Mission to NATO
View the article on our site: US-European Armed-Forces Stronger together-6
The United States has maximized its Support for NATO Allies in Europe
Earlier this year the United States announced to increase its financial support to NATO Allies for strengthening U.S-European Collective Defense. The extra financial insertion comes at the time that the European Security has been encountering many form of challenges including the unprepared Cyber Defense, the mass influx of illegal migrations and refugees, the affect of Conflicts and War in several African States and the Middle Eastern Region, the threats of ISIL and the Extremists– just to name a few.
In line with this financial increase, President Obama’s Budget request for 2017 has highlighted the funding of $3.42 billion for European Reassurance Initiative (ERI).
July 2016 © US EUCOM/ US Mission NATO
View the article on our site: The United States has maximized its Support for NATO Allies in Europe
By Editor in Chief
NATO Exercise BALTOPS 2016
NATO Exercise BALTOPS June 3-19, 2016, launched in the Baltic Sea Region of Estonia.…. Finland….. and Sweden, with the successful upshot, completes its final strike in Kiel-Germany on June 18th.
The BALTOPS 2016, was the largest Exercise combining of Naval Maritime and Air Defence of 17 Allied Nations, contributing over 6,100 Troops, more than 60 Military Aircraft, 45 Ships and Submarines, added with over 800 Amphibious Troops, to Exercise and Enhance their Joint Capabilities during the time of peace as well as crisis and conflicts.
Vice Adm. James G. Foggo, III, commander Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, speaks with Finnish Coastal Rangers during the Exercise BALTOPS 2016. June 12, 2016 © U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class America A. Henry
“We completed an extremely successful BALTOPS 2016. Over 5,000 Sailors, Airmen and Marines from 17 nations trained across the full spectrum of Maritime Operations. Similar to trust, you can’t surge Interoperability—we have to train together to Operate together seamlessly. We are committed to Baltic Security and have already starting planning BALTOPS 2017.” Affirmed Vice Admiral James Foggo III, Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO and the Commander of U.S. 6th Flee. June 2016 © U .S NAVAL Forces Europe-Africa.
The most significant of recent years’ NATO Multi-National Exercise ‘BALTOPS 2016’, formulated to demonstrate and enhance the U.S-European Armed-Forces Readiness and Interoperability, is on the way in Baltic Sea region from June 5- June 20. The Exercise is the U.S-led drills with the ‘STRIKFORNATO’ leading its implementations.
June 2016 © US NAVAL Forces Europe/Africa
The participants from 17 U.S-European States, contributing: 6100 Troops, over 60 Military Air crafts, about 800 Amphibious Troops, and 45 Ships and Submarines are from the Armed-Forces of: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK Royal Navy Flagship HMS Ocean, and the U.S Naval Force with USS Mount Whitney, U.S Air Force Europe.
The central objectives intensify on:
- Enhancing the Allies Interoperability;
- Training in Anti-Air Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, and Mine Countermeasure Warfare;
- As well as Amphibious and Maritime Interdiction Operations and Exercising against the Asymmetric Threat. Recounts NATO’s NAVAL Striking/Support Forces.
News from Strong Europe U.S Army
News from U.S Air Force Europe-Africa
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News from U.S Mission to NATO
Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Philip Breedlove received NATO Meritorious Service Medal
The Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove , received NATO Meritorious Service Medal for his outstanding leadership.
Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Philip Breedlove and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during the Award ceremony April 13 2016 © NATO
Gen. Breedlove assumed the position as the Commander of European Command and Supreme Allied Commander in 2013– during the high challenging time in NATO history after the cold war era.
Among many high caliber achievements of Gen Breedlove are his success in:
- Bringing all NATO member States and Partners in a closer cooperation in the Collective Defense and Solidarity fronts
- Upgrading the capabilities of most European Armed-Forces with the latest Defense Technology
- Increasing the interoperability of the members of the Alliance
- And Advancing, considerably, the degree of the Readiness and Responsiveness of NATO Forces on the Land, in the Air and at Sea
As a result NATO is far more stronger, today, than ever……
In his official visit to the United States, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with President Obama. He met also with Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security advisor Susan Rice.
The meeting covers discussion on range of Security issues that are posing challenges to the U.S and Europe in the same way. The Secretary General express his gratitude to President Obama for his Leadership and the United States crucial contribution through the European Reassurance Initiative.
“NATO is as important as ever, because NATO has been able to adapt to a more dangerous World.” emphasized Secretary General Stoltenberg
The Secretary General visited, on his second day, Fort Bragg in North Carolina and met with the U.S Service Personnel. During this visit he was briefed on the U.S Global Response Force which works in deployment with NATO’s High-Readiness Spearhead Force under European Allies Command.
NATO Secretary General visiting Fort Bragg North Carolina April 5, 2016© NATO
The Secretary General thanked the U.S Armed-Forces for their outstanding Service and contribution to NATO.
Related documents:European Reassurance Initiative and Other U.S. Efforts in Support of NATO Allies and Partners
EUCOM announces European Reassurance Initiative implementation plan, by US European Command
Follow news from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
News from US Air Forces Europe and Africa
March 2016© The UK Royal Navy
From February 19 until March 22, the NATO Allied encompassing 16,000 Military personnel are participating in one of the NATO’s largest Training Multinational Military Exercise to upgrade and intensify the Allied Capability of Combat Operation in the cold environment.
Commanding General National Joint Headquarters Norway, Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen, addresses a Multinational Panel on the Training aspects of the Exercise, Norway March 2016 ©The U.S. Army Europe/ Sgt. 1st Class Crista Mary Mack
Cold Response 16 is held in the Trøndelag of Norway and the Participants are from the Armed-Forces of: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Remarks by the Commanding General of the U.S Army Europe LTG Ben Hodges during an interview at Cold Response 16.
March 4, 2016 Norway © The U.S Army Europe
The U.S-European Armed-Forces Stronger Together
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s elaboration on the increase of United States Defense budget and Military commitment to European Security and Defense in NATO by emphasizing: “This proposal is a vivid demonstration of the strength of our Transatlantic bond.”
February 2, 2016©NATO
The Official document from the White House:
Statement by the President on the FY2017 European Reassurance Initiative Budget Request , The White House February 2, 2016
The U.S Navy Multi-Mission USS Carney has arrived in Europe, in south of Spain, to strengthen the NATO and European Missile Defense capability.
The Battle Ship as a part of NATO Forces is missioned for a wide range of Operational Task for Security, Search and Rescue, and the NATO Multinational Training and Exercise.
USS Carney. 25 September 2015 ©NATO
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the US Navy USS Carney by affirming:
“The arrival of the USS Carney marks an important step for European Security and for Transatlantic cooperation,”
“The four Missile Defense ships are key for building up Europe’s protection against Ballistic Missile threats. I thank the United States for their significant contribution to keeping our Nations safe.”
NATO Ballistic Missile Defense was established and launched in 2010, by the NATO Member States to counter the threats poised by the proliferation of Ballistic Missile in various regions, countries and radical groups (possibly). The strategy is based on Protecting Europe from any sorts of perceived or unseen threats which had been multiplied in the last fifteen years.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited U.S Air National Guard
Brigadier General James O. Eifert. welcomed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the 125th Fighter Wing, Florida Air National Guard 28.May 2015 ©NATO
During his visit Secretary General expressed his gratitude to US servicemen and women for their outstanding contributions in the Security of the Alliance.
“I was so impressed by the remarkable professionalism of all those who serve here, and ensure that our nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure, and effective.” concluded his visit at the Florida Air National Guard in Jacksonville, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
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