There has been tremendous speculation over the past year about the future of U.S. Force Posture in Europe. On Friday, the Department of Defense announced that the Army will retain three Brigade Combat Teams in Europe.
In an email to U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) staff, LTG Mark Hertling, USAREUR commander, noted,
The mix of Heavy, Stryker and Airborne BCTs, combined with our other key theater enablers, will ensure U.S. Army Europe is capable, effective, and best able to address current and future security challenges and Combatant Commander missions. Having watched the ‘stance’ of USAREUR change over the last few years, it is my belief that this formation set positions us to be extremely effective. This posture positions the Army to better conduct overseas contingency operations, ease the burden of a high operational tempo on you and your Families, and it improves the ability of the United States Army to conduct security cooperation and exercise events, meet its NATO Article 5 and other commitments, while accounting for readiness, cost efficiencies and sustainability.
I agree 100 percent.
It is undecided which brigade will inactivate and when, so we’ve got plenty of time to ensure we prepare for and execute the change in force posture responsibly.
We remain committed to working closely with our European partners to execute our security cooperation mission. I do not foresee any significant reduction in our capability with this change; merely an increase in our efficiency – clearly something we must strive for in today’s fiscal climate.
Adm. James Stavridis
Commander, U.S. European Command and
Supreme Allied Commander, Europe