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.


 
 

 
Boeing photograph

CH-46 ‘Phrog’ makes its last hop

Boeing photograph The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter commonly known as the “Phrog,” is set to retire and to be flown one last time by Reserve Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 774 on Aug. 1. The CH-46 Sea Knight is a med...
 
 

Advanced Extremely High Frequency system achieves IOC

Gen. John Hyten, the Air Force Space Command commander, declared initial operational capability for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency system July 28. The significant achievement reflects collaboration between numerous organizations, including Headquarters Air Force Space Command, the Space and Missile Systems Center, Army, Navy and the developers, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman. The s...
 
 
Navy photograph

Surface-to-surface missile test for LCS successful

Navy photograph Three missiles from a ripple fire response strike their moving targets during an engineering development test of modified Longbow Hellfire missiles. The missile system, designated the Surface-to-Surface Missile ...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier

New interrogation system installed on AWACS, more in pipeline

Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier An E-3 Sentry AWACS from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., prepares to land May 16, 2015. AWACS have the capability to detect enemy as well as friendly aircraft at great distances usi...
 
 
Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten

U.S., Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria train together at Rapid Trident 2015

Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten U.S. soldiers, of the 3rd Platoon, 615th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, react as they conduct reacting to contact training as part of their situational trai...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt

Estonian, US forces receive new jump wings

Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt Pvt. Kalmer Simohov, of Parnu, a volunteer with the Estonian Defense League, receives his U.S. Army Airborne wings following the joint airborne operations exercise at a drop zone in Nurm...
 




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>