Defense

October 24, 2012

Europe remains important to new strategy, general says

Europe remains important, even as the United States shifts its strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific region, the commander of U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army said during a Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington, D.C., Oct. 23.

“Europe remains one of our key strategic partners, Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling said. “If you take a look at the rebalancing strategy toward the Pacific, … Europe still has a very important part to play.”

European nations are contributing significantly to U.S. alliances, the general said, noting that 40,000 soldiers from allied countries are serving in Afghanistan. “Ninety-one percent of those … come from the European footprint,” he added. “These are people that we helped train, that we exercise with, that we partner with, that we conduct engagements with.”

Even with the shift to the Pacific, European nations provide a lot of capability, Hertling said. Their commitment to the defense of South Korea is one example, he told the group, and the European nations have many other interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

Still, he said, the U.S. presence in Europe is dropping. Last week, Hertling presided at a ceremony that cased the colors of the 170th Brigade at Baumholder, Germany, and he will soon case the colors of another U.S. brigade. “We are trying to right-size the [U.S.] force in Europe,” he said.

The Cold War is over, and no one knows it better than the commander of U.S. Army Europe. The need for large tank formations on the continent is gone, he said, so even with the loss of the two brigades, the Army will have what it needs to conduct missions in Europe, including contingency operations, partnership exercises and theater security operations.

Last year, the general noted, U.S. Army Europe troops conducted 1,100 security operations missions, and missions continue.

U.S. Army Europe is part of Exercise Austere Challenge, which kicked off this week in Israel, and the command plays a part in the Northern Distribution Network, getting supplies for U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan. “We continue to run things like missile defense, countercyber exercises, logistics support to allies [and] support to NATO and contingency operations,” Hertling said.

In addition, a peacekeeping effort continues in Europe. More than 1,000 American service members are part of NATO’s Kosovo Force in the former Yugoslavia. Most of the troops in the operation are Army National Guardsmen. U.S. Army Europe is responsible for providing the final training the troops receive before deploying to Kosovo and for the logistics they receive while in country.

“We have reinforced that brigade on several occasions when there have been crises,” Hertling said. “They continue to do significant stability operations in Kosovo, training the Kosovar forces as well as patrolling. It is still … calm, but tense, in Kosovo. It gets tenser at times, depending on what’s going on.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 
 
LM-C130

U.S. Air Force receives additional MC-130J Commando II

MARIETTA, Ga., Aug. 27, 2015 – A crew from the U.S. Air Force Aug. 27 ferried a new MC-130J Commando II aircraft assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command to Cannon Air Force Base, N.., from the Lockheed Martin facilit...
 

 
af-uav4

Arming the RPAs

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Joseph Swafford A1C Matthew Lopez (center), 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron munitions systems technician, builds a GPS-guided GBU-49 bomb at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 15, 2015...
 
 
dragon-lady1

Local efforts help keep Dragon Lady flying at 60

Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Bobby Cummings A U-2 Dragon Lady soars above the flightline at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014. The low-altitude handling characteristics of the aircraft and bicycle-type lan...
 
 
Air Force photograph

U.S. Navy awards production contract for additional P-8A aircraft, first RAAF planes

Air Force photograph A P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft parked on the tarmac during a BALTOPS 2015 mission on the flightline of Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, June 9, 2015. The U.S. Navy awarded a nearl...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>