SENATE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
STATEMENT OF GENERAL CURTIS M. SCAPARROTTI
COMMANDER, UNITED STATES EUROPEAN COMMAND
March 23, 2017
Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of this Committee, I am honored to testify before you in my first year as the Commander of United States European Command (EUCOM). It is a privilege to lead the great Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and civilians in this Command. They continue to demonstrate remarkable commitment, dedication, and selfless service both in Europe and across the globe. We all appreciate your continued support.
The European theater remains critical to our national interests. The transatlantic alliance gives us an unmatched advantage over our adversaries - a united, capable, warfighting alliance resolved in its purpose and strengthened by shared values that have been forged in battle. EUCOM’s relationship with NATO and the 51 countries within our Area of Responsibility (AOR) provides the United States with a network of willing partners who support global operations and secure the international rules-based order that our nations have defended together since World War II. Our security architecture protects more than 1 billion people and has safeguarded transatlantic trade, which now constitutes almost half of the world’s combined GDP.
Nevertheless, today we face the most dynamic European security environment in history. Political volatility and economic uncertainty are compounded by threats to our security system that are trans-regional, multi-domain, and multi-functional. In the East, a resurgent Russia has turned from partner to antagonist. Countries along Russia’s periphery, especially Ukraine and Georgia, are under threat from Moscow’s malign influence and military aggression. In the Southeast, strategic drivers of instability converge on key allies, especially Turkey, which has to simultaneously manage Russia, terrorists, and refugee flows. In the South, violent extremists and transnational criminal elements spawn terror and corruption from North Africa to the Middle East, while refugees and migrants fleeing persecution to Europe in search of security and opportunity. In the High North, Russia is reasserting its military prowess and positioning itself for strategic advantage in the Arctic.
EUCOM fully recognizes the dynamic nature of this security environment, and in response, we are regenerating our abilities for deterrence and defense while continuing our security cooperation and engagement mission. This requires that we return to our historical role as a command that is capable of executing the full-spectrum of joint and combined operations in a contested environment. Accordingly, we are adjusting our posture, plans, and readiness to respond to possible future conflicts.
This shift would not be possible without congressional support of the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI). Thanks in large measure to ERI, over the last 12 months EUCOM has made demonstrable progress. U.S. tanks have returned to European soil. U.S. F-15s and F-22s have demonstrated air dominance throughout the theater. U.S. naval forces have sailed throughout European waters. EUCOM has operationalized its Joint Cyber Center. With the approval of former Secretary Carter, EUCOM delivered the first new operational plan for the defense of Europe in over 25 years.
ERI also supports high-end exercises and training, improved infrastructure, and enhanced prepositioning of equipment and supplies, while State Department and DOD funds build partner capacity throughout Europe.
EUCOM has also continued to strengthen our relationship with allies and partners. Our relationship with Turkey endured a coup attempt with minimal disruption to multiple ongoing operations. EUCOM has strengthened ties with Israel, one of our closest allies. Above all, EUCOM has supported the NATO Alliance, which remains, as Secretary Mattis has said, the “bedrock” of our transatlantic security. Overall EUCOM is growing stronger.
II. THEATER ASSESSMENT – RISKS AND CHALLENGES
Over the past year I have highlighted three signature issues facing us in this dynamic security environment: Russia, radicals or violent extremists, and regional unrest – leading to refugee and migrant flows. At the same time, managing the political, economic, and social challenges posed by refugees and migrants is a consuming concern of our allies and partners.
Russia’s malign actions are supported by its diplomatic, information, economic, and military initiatives. Moscow intends to reemerge as a global power, and views international norms such as the rule of law, democracy, and human rights as components of a system designed to suppress it. Therefore, Russia seeks to undermine this international system and discredit those in the West who have created it.
For example, Russia is taking steps to influence the internal politics of European countries just as it tried to do in the United States in an attempt to create disunity and weakness within Europe and undermine the transatlantic relationship. Furthermore, Russia has repeatedly violated international agreements and treaties that underpin European peace and stability, including the Treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), and it is undermining transparency and confidence building regimes such as the Vienna Document and Open Skies, which provides greater transparency of posture and exercises in the region Russia’s political leadership appears to seek a resurgence through modernization of its military. Russia is adjusting its doctrine, modernizing its weapons, reorganizing the disposition of its forces, professionalizing its armed services, and upgrading capabilities in all warfighting domains. Russia desires a military force capable of achieving its strategic objectives and increasing its power.
Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, including occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea, and actions in Syria underscore its willingness to use military force to exert its influence in Europe and the Middle East. In Ukraine, Russia’s willingness to foment a bloody conflict into its third year through the use of proxy forces in the Donbas, and elsewhere, is deeply troubling to our allies and partners, particularly Russia's closest neighbors. In Syria, Russia’s military intervention has changed the dynamics of the conflict, bolstered the Bashar al-Assad regime, targeted moderate opposition elements, and compounded human suffering in Syria, and complicated U.S. and coalition operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Russia has used this chaos to establish a permanent presence in the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean.
This past year saw other significant demonstrations of Russia’s renewed military capability, including the first ever combat deployment of the KUZNETSOV Task Force, nation-wide strategic exercises, joint air, ground, and maritime operations in Syria using new platforms and precision-guided munitions, and the deployment of nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad. Russia’s deployment in Ukraine and Syria also revealed increased proficiency in expeditionary combat and sustainment operations.
Another key component of Russia’s military advancement is its Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS). For example, in connection with its deployment to support the Assad regime in Syria, Russia fielded advanced Anti-Access / Area Denial (A2/AD) systems that combine command and control and electronic warfare capabilities, and long range coastal defense cruise missiles with advanced air defense platforms. EUCOM assesses that Russia plans to meld existing and future IADS systems into a central command structure to control all air defense forces and weapons.
In the High North, Russia continues to strengthen its military presence through equipment, infrastructure, training, and other activities. Russia is positioning itself to gain strategic advantage if the Northern Sea Route opens and becomes a viable shipping lane between Europe and Asia.
Most concerning, however, is Moscow’s substantial inventory of non-strategic nuclear weapons in the EUCOM AOR and its troubling doctrine that calls on the potential use of these weapons to escalate its way out of a failing conflict. Russia’s fielding of a conventional/nuclear dual-capable system that is prohibited under the INF Treaty creates a mismatch in escalatory options with the West. In the context of Putin’s highly centralized decision-making structure, Moscow’s provocative rhetoric and nuclear threats increase the likelihood of misunderstanding and miscalculation.
In addition to recent conventional and nuclear developments, Russia has employed a decades-long strategy of indirect action to coerce, destabilize, and otherwise exercise a malign influence over other nations. In neighboring states, Russia continues to fuel “protracted conflicts.” In Moldova, for example, Russia has yet to follow through on its 1999 Istanbul summit commitments to withdraw an estimated 1,500 troops -- whose presence has no mandate -- from the Moldovan breakaway region of Transnistria. Russia asserts that it will remove its force once a comprehensive settlement to the Transnistrian conflict has been reached. However, Russia continued to undermine the discussion of a comprehensive settlement to the Transnistrian conflict at the 5+2 negotiations. Moscow continues to play a role in destabilizing the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute by selling arms to both parties -- Armenia and Azerbaijan -- while maintaining troops in Armenia, despite an international pledge to co-chair Minsk Group charged with seeking resolution of the conflict.
Russia fiercely opposes one of our strongest EUCOM partners, Georgia, in its attempts to align with the European and transatlantic communities. Russia’s occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia since its 2008 invasion the Georgian regions of has created lasting instability.
In the Balkans, Russia exploits ethnic tensions to slow progress on European and transatlantic integration. In 2016, Russia overtly interfered in the political processes of both Bosnia-
Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Additional Russian activities short of war, range from disinformation to manipulation. Examples include Russia’s outright denial of involvement in the lead up to Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation in Crimea; attempts to influence elections in the United States, France and elsewhere; its aggressive propaganda campaigns targeting ethnic Russian populations among its neighbors; and cyber activities directed against infrastructure in the Baltic nations and Ukraine. In all of these ways and more, Russia is attempting to exert its influence, expand its power, and discredit the capability and relevance of the West.
Violent extremists, most notably ISIS, pose a serious, immediate threat to U.S. personnel, our allies, and our infrastructure in Europe and worldwide. In 2016, there were major terrorist attacks in Berlin, Brussels, Istanbul, Nice, Paris, and elsewhere. ISIS has made its intentions clear: it seeks to overthrow Western civilization and establish a world-wide caliphate.
While it’s footprint in Iraq and Syria shrunk in 2016, since 2014, ISIS has significantly expanded its operations throughout Europe and now leverages its network to enable and inspire attacks by European-based extremists in their resident countries. Further, ISIS has exploited the migration crisis to infiltrate operatives into Europe. Since Turkey expanded its counter-ISIS role and advocacy for coalition operations in Mosul, it has experienced an increased number of terrorist attacks, and ISIS’s leaders have called for more. We do not expect the threat to diminish in the near future.
As a consequence of this threat, European nations have been forced to divert financial resources and military personnel to internal security. The impact of this reallocation is not yet fully appreciated and will likely persist for years. In short, violent extremism poses a dangerous threat to transatlantic nations and to the international order that we value.
In EUCOM’s AOR, Russia’s indirect actions have sought to exploit political unrest and socioeconomic disparities. Russian aggression in Ukraine has led to the deaths of approximately 10,000 people since April 2014. Recently in eastern Ukraine, Russia controls the battle tempo, again ratcheting up the number of daily violations of the cease fire and -- even more concerning -- directing combined Russian-separatist forces to target civilian infrastructure and threaten and intimidate OSCE monitors in order to turn up the pressure on Ukraine. Furthermore, Moscow’s support for so-called “separatists” in eastern Ukraine destabilizes Kyiv’s political structures, particularly as Ukraine undertakes politically-difficult reforms to combat corruption and comply with IMF requirements.
Ukraine seeks a permanent and verifiable ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons and Russian forces, full and unfettered access for OSCE monitors, and control over its internationally-recognized border with Russia. Russian-led separatist forces continue to commit the majority of ceasefire violations despite attempts by the OSCE to broker a lasting ceasefire along the Line of Contact.
Turkey has long been and remains an ally of the United States. It now occupies a critical location at the crossroads of multiple strategic challenges. To its west, it implements the Montreux Convention, which governs transit through the Turkish Straits, and is committed to local solutions for Black Sea issues. To its north and east, Turkey maintains a complicated relationship with Russia. Ankara seeks to resume the level of trade with Moscow that it enjoyed prior to Turkey’s November 2015 shoot down of a Russian fighter. Turkey has absorbed the largest number of refugees from Syria – almost 3 million. Despite these challenges, EUCOM continues to work closely with
Turkey to enable critical basing and logistical support to the counter ISIS fight and supports Turkey to counter its terror threat. Although the flow of refugees to Europe has slowed, the refugee situation remains a significant challenge to our European Allies and partners. The strain on the social systems of European nations, especially along the Mediterranean Sea, diverts resources that could otherwise go toward military and defense spending, and finding solutions has tested political relationships. EU member states struggle to find a common, “shared” approach to admit and settle migrants. Both NATO and the EU, in conjunction with Turkish and Greek authorities, have committed law enforcement and military assets to this issue, including a maritime force in the Aegean Sea to conduct reconnaissance, monitoring, and surveillance.
The Syrian civil war and the risk of spillover into neighboring states, including Israel, continue to threaten stability in Europe and the Levant. Despite assistance from the USG and the international community, the refugee population in Jordan and Lebanon has placed significant burdens on the government and local residents. Additionally, factional fighting in Syria has resulted in occasional cross-border fire into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israel has avoided being drawn into the conflict in Syria but has taken military action to deny the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah.
The Balkans’ stability since the late 90’s masks political and socio-economic fragility. Russia promotes anti-European views in this region by exploiting corrupt political systems, poor economic performance, and increased ethnic polarization.
Additionally, Islamic radicals seek to take advantage of high unemployment rates, political turmoil, and socioeconomic disparities to recruit violent extremists.
Iran’s regional influence in the Levant continues to grow through its ongoing support to radical groups such as Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and paramilitary groups involved in the Syrian conflict and in counter-ISIS efforts across Iraq. Iran, which Israel views as its greatest existential threat, continues to transfer advanced conventional arms to Hezbollah and is clearly committed to maintaining Syria as the key link of the Iran-Hezbollah axis, which sustains a terrorist network in Syrian-regime controlled territory. Furthermore, Iran has taken advantage of the Syrian crisis to militarily coordinate with Russia in support of Assad.
III. THEATER ASSESSMENT - STRENGTHS AND OPPORTUNITIES
EUCOM will meet these challenges and adapt to the new security environment by capitalizing on our strengths and building new capabilities. We are developing a credible and relevant force structure built for deterrence and defense and leveraging a unified and adaptive NATO Alliance, and transitioning into a command able to address the strategic challenges before us.
EUCOM activities, facilitated by ERI funding, continue to be the primary demonstration of our deterrent capability.
Increased Rotational Forces. ERI has directly supported an increase in the rotational presence of U.S. forces in Europe, a critical augmentation to EUCOM’s assigned forces. For example, ERI funded Fort Stewart’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat
Team’s deployment to Europe from March to September 2016. Also, ERI funded the deployment of F-22 fighters, B-52 bombers, and additional combat and lift aircraft to Europe as part of the ERI Theater Security Package. Looking ahead, continued congressional support for ERI will sustain these rotations and enable additional anti-submarine warfare capabilities complementing maritime domain awareness assets in Iceland that are included in the FY 2017 ERI request. Additionally, rotational Marine units will operate from Norway and the Black Sea region.
Trained and Equipped Component Commands. EUCOM has also used ERI to fund and field Army Prepositioned Stocks (APS), providing a rapid mobilization capability for additional armored units in Europe. Separately, EUCOM advocated for and received full support for a $220 million NATO Security Investment Program project (i.e., paid for by NATO common funding) that will build warehousing and maintenance capability for staging APS stocks in Poland. Additionally, ERI funds dozens of projects to upgrade flight-line and munitions-storage infrastructure across eight NATO nations to support not only rotational presence but also training events in Eastern Europe. The Navy is using ERI to fund capability enablers and force rotations to support EUCOM and NATO exercises, including Mine Countermeasure Teams and additional flying hours specifically to enhance EUCOM’s deterrence posture.
Persistent Presence. ERI increased funding for U.S. forces in the Baltics, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Mediterranean during 2016. In addition, ERI allowed EUCOM to continue our contribution to NATO’s Air Policing mission by funding a continued fighter presence in theater with the 493rd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath in the UK.
Complex Exercises with Allies and Partners. ERI expanded the scope of EUCOM’s involvement in over 28 joint and multi-national maritime, air, amphibious, and ground exercises across 40 countries. In June 2016, EUCOM participated in the Polish national exercise ANAKONDA, which involved approximately 31,000 Allied troops—including over 14,000 U.S. personnel—and provided a robust demonstration of Allied defensive capabilities, readiness, and interoperability. ERI also supported Navy-led BALTOPS 16, the premier maritime exercise in the Baltic region with over 6,100 troops from participating nations. And utilizing ERI resources, the Air Force took part in over 50 exercises and training deployments across Europe. An Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement concluded with the EU last December enables EUCOM to cooperate better with EU missions in the Balkans and elsewhere.
Russia Strategic Initiative (RSI): EUCOM leads the Department of Defense’s Russia Strategic Initiative (RSI), which provides a framework for understanding the Russian threat and a forum for coordinating efforts and requirements. RSI allows us to maximize the deterrent value of our activities while avoiding inadvertent escalation. In just over a year, RSI has created a number of analytic products for combatant commanders that will enable a more efficient application of existing resources and planning efforts.
Deterring Russia requires a whole of government approach, and EUCOM supports the strategy of approaching Russia from a position of strength while seeking appropriate military-to-military communication necessary to fulfill our defense obligations in accordance with the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Going forward, we must bring the information aspects of our national power more fully to bear on Russia, both to amplify our narrative and to draw attention to Russia’s manipulative, coercive, and malign activities. Finally, NATO and U.S. nuclear forces continue to be a vital component of our deterrence. Our modernization efforts are crucial; we must preserve a ready, credible, and safe nuclear capability.
Enable the NATO Alliance
As the United States manages multiple strategic challenges, our enduring strength remains NATO, the most successful alliance in history. NATO’s leadership understands that the security environment has radically changed over the past few years. The Alliance has placed renewed emphasis on deterring further Russian aggression, countering transnational threats, such as violent extremist organizations, and projecting stability in the Middle East and North Africa, while fulfilling its commitments in Afghanistan.
The Warsaw Summit last July was a significant demonstration of unity, cooperation, and strategic adaptation. As the member nations declared in NATO’s Warsaw Summit Communiqué, “We are united in our commitment to the Washington Treaty, the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN), and the vital transatlantic bond”. This unity is NATO’s center of gravity, and the United States must continue to support solidarity among the Alliance nations.
Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP). The signature outcome of the 2016 Warsaw Summit was the decision to establish an enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in the Baltics and Poland to demonstrate NATO’s cohesion in defense of the Alliance. Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States have begun deploying multinational battalion task forces to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland respectively on a rotational basis. Defense Cooperation Agreements (DCAs) signed in 2017 with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are facilitating the deployment of U.S forces to the three Baltic states. The United States serves as the framework nation for eFP in Poland and is working closely with the other framework nations and their host nations to ensure NATO’s key deterrence and defense measures are capable and integrated.
European Phased Adapted Approach (EPAA). EUCOM continues to implement the EPAA to defend European NATO populations, territory, and infrastructure against ballistic missile threats from threats outside the Euro-Atlantic region. In July 2016, the U.S.-funded Aegis Ashore facility in Romania became operational and transferred to NATO operational control. Work on the Aegis Ashore site in Poland (authorized and appropriated in fiscal year 2016 legislation) is underway and on track for completion by the end of calendar year 2018 and operational under NATO operational control in mid-2019.
Projecting Stability. NATO is a key contributor to ensuring security and projecting stability abroad. It is worth remembering that the first and only time the Alliance invoked the mutual defense provisions of its founding treaty was in response to the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Today, through NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, over 12,000 troops (including over 5,000 non-U.S. personnel) provide training and assistance to Afghan security forces and institutions. NATO is committed to ensuring a stable Afghanistan that is not a safe haven for terrorists.
Additionally, it is notable that all 28 NATO nations participate in the Counter-ISIS coalition. NATO committed AWACS surveillance aircraft and actively contributes to capacity building in Iraq. EUCOM actively supports NATO’s goal of expanding its operations against this terrorist threat.
Support to Washington Treaty.
EUCOM provides support for key articles of the Washington Treaty, enabling NATO members to meet their collective security commitments. EUCOM conducts activities, such as security cooperation, to help allies meet their Article 3 commitment to “maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist attack.” We have been able to reduce allies’ dependencies on Russian-sourced, legacy military equipment thanks to ongoing congressional support for critical authorities and funding that provide shared resources. EUCOM also actively assists the Alliance when an ally declares, under Article 4, that its territorial integrity, political independence, or security is threatened. The last time an ally invoked Article 4 was 2015, when Turkey sought consultation following terrorist attacks. Most importantly, EUCOM is the force that backs the United States’ commitment to Article 5, which declares that an armed attack on one ally is an attack on all.
NATO Spending Trends. At the Wales Summit in 2014, the allies pledged to reverse the trend of declining defense budgets and invest in the development of highly-capable and deployable forces. Today, in addition to the United States, four allies (Estonia, Greece, Poland, and the United Kingdom) meet the NATO guidelines for 2% of GDP, up from three in 2014. Allies’ defense expenditures increased in 2015 for the first time since 2009 and grew at a real rate of 3.8% in 2016, with 22 member nations increasing defense spending. Allies are showing demonstrable progress toward their commitment to contribute 2% of their GDP within a decade (by 2024).
This is a positive trend, but allied nations must meet the 2% mark with 20% allocated to the modernization of equipment and infrastructure. Critical ally and partner capability shortfalls remain, including strategic lift; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); deployable command and control; air to air refueling; and air and missile defense. Further, both EUCOM and NATO are hampered by inadequate infrastructure that affects the ability to maneuver across the continent. The expansion of the Alliance to include former Eastern Bloc countries has exacerbated the lack of common transportation networks between the newer NATO members in the east and the more established allies in the west. EUCOM is working closely with NATO to identify and address infrastructure requirements to improve U.S. and NATO freedom of movement throughout the theater.
Build Partner Capacity
EUCOM has spent several decades working with the Department of State to help allied and partner nations develop and improve their military and other security forces. This partner capacity building has been accomplished with the support of this Committee, which has been generous in providing us the authorization we need to accomplish this critical task. I would highlight two activities in particular.
Defense Institution Building (DIB). DIB helps partner nations build effective, transparent, and accountable defense institutions. For example, EUCOM fully endorses the work of the Defense Reform Advisory Board in Ukraine, which is helping to bring about both political and military reform as the Ministry of Defense, General Staff, and Armed Forces transition from centralized Soviet-style systems and concepts towards a Euro-Atlantic model. We also support defense institutions in Georgia, helping them improve their strategic logistics, human and material resource management, and institutional aspects of their training management system. Overall, our DIB efforts lay the groundwork for broader security cooperation activities.
Joint Multinational Training Group Ukraine (JMTG-U). Together with forces from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the UK, and Canada using State Department-provided Foreign Military Financing and Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds, EUCOM trains, advises, and equips Ukraine security forces, helping them build the capacity to defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity. Our team, working through the Multinational Joint Commission, has developed Ukraine’s institutional training capability so that Ukraine can create a NATO-interoperable armed force. Our efforts include the training of both conventional and special operations units, as well as advising Ukraine on defense reform priorities.
EUCOM’s mission to assist in the defense of Israel, one of our closest allies, remains a top priority. Success will depend on the continued support of Congress and our strong relationship with the Israel Defense Forces. Many aspects of our bilateral relationship have been guided by the Strategic Cooperation Initiative Program (SCIP) framework, which dates to the Reagan Administration. SCIP enables robust cooperation and coordination on a vast range of security matters. Going forward, we are working to update the SCIP to incorporate an examination of all major exercises to ensure each meets the three major pillars of our security relationship: (1) missile defense, air operations, and counter-terrorism; (2) managing the Weapon Reserve Stockpile for Allies-Israel (WRSA-I); and (3) ensuring Israel’s qualitative military edge.
Counter Transnational Threats
Adopting a whole-of-government approach, EUCOM, together with its interagency partners, conducts initiatives to counter transnational threats including countering terrorism and the flow of foreign fighters, countering illicit finance networks, combatting the trafficking of persons and illicit substances; and building allied and partner security, investigative, and judicial capacity. In conjunction with the Departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security, and other federal law enforcement agencies, EUCOM works to monitor and thwart the flow of foreign fighters, support the dismantlement of facilitation networks, and build partner nation capacity to defeat violent extremism.
Through our counter terrorism cell, EUCOM strengthens the global Counter-ISIS efforts in coordination with and support of U.S. Central (CENTCOM), Africa (AFRICOM), and Special Operations (SOCOM) Commands. We have focused on those who facilitate the ISIS brand and network through radicalization, financing, and propaganda.
Also, EUCOM and NATO are working to increase ties with the EU to enhance the capabilities Europe can collectively bring to bear against transnational threats. These three organizational nodes foster a shared understanding of the threats, help match resources accordingly, and can address all elements of national power including diplomatic, informational, military, and economic. In order to realize this networked approach, EUCOM will support NATO efforts to expand the capability and capacity of Allied Joint Forces Command – Naples.
Enable Global Operations
EUCOM personnel actively support operations in AFRICOM and CENTCOM AORs. EUCOM’s well-developed and tested infrastructure provides critical capabilities in strategic locations such as Incirlik, Turkey; Sigonella, Italy’ and Moron and Rota, Spain. Basing and access in Germany, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom enable more timely and coordinated trans-regional crisis response.
IV. RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS
Significant U.S. force reductions following the collapse of the Soviet Union were based on the assumption that Russia would be a strategic partner to the West. These reductions now limit U.S. options for addressing challenges in a changing European strategic environment. The strategic rebalance to Asia and the Pacific, combined with budget limitations in the Budget Control Act of 2011, have contributed to substantial posture reductions across our land and air domains. For example, between 2010 and 2013, two fighter squadrons and a two-star numbered air force headquarters were inactivated, along with associated critical enablers and staff personnel. In addition, the last two heavy Brigade Combat Teams (BCT), a two-star division headquarters, and a three-star corps headquarters were removed from Europe, leaving only one Stryker and one airborne brigade. As a result of the BCT losses, without fully-resourced heel-to-toe rotational forces the ground force permanently assigned to EUCOM is inadequate to meet the combatant command’s directed mission to deter Russia from further aggression.
Deterrence Posture. Going forward, we will need to continue maintaining capable forces for effective deterrence. EUCOM is coordinating across the DoD to obtain the forces we need in every warfare domain. This may include additional maneuver forces, combat air squadrons, anti-submarine capabilities, a carrier strike group, and maritime amphibious capabilities. We will continue to enhance our plans for pre-positioning equipment across the theater as a flexible deterrent measure and to exercise the joint reception, staging, and onward integration of CONUS-based forces into Europe.
ERI Requirements. EUCOM’s continues to require the ability to deter Russian aggression and counter malign influence while assuring allies and partners. We anticipate needing to continue deterrence measured initiated in previous ERI submissions to include: Army and Air Force prepositioning, retention of F-15 presence, improved airfield infrastructure improvements, and to address some new capabilities needed in the theater.
Indications and Warnings (I&W). EUCOM’s ability to provide strategic warning is critical to credible deterrence. . A robust intelligence capability enables accurate analysis and rapid response in a changing theater security environment. This capability also supports the design of realistic exercises, posture alignment, and future requirements. Furthermore, when completed, EUCOM’s Joint Intelligence Analytic Center at Royal Air Force Croughton will provide a dedicated, purpose-built intelligence facility collocated with NATO and AFRICOM’s analytic centers that will enhance capability and capacity in both combatant commands and NATO. Finally, additional intelligence collection platforms in theater, such as the U-2, the RQ-4, and the RC-135, are required for accurate and timely threat information to support strategic decisions.
The European Infrastructure Consolidation effort announced in January 2015 enables EUCOM to divest excess capacity and consolidate missions and footprints at enduring locations. However, with aging infrastructure and little recent investment, recapitalization and consolidation projects are required to support warfighter readiness, command and control requirements, deployments, training, and quality of life. This Committee has been key to these critical efforts. We continue to modernize communications facilities and schools across Europe. Last year, Congress authorized the final increment for the Joint Intelligence Analysis Center, which enables the closure of RAFs Molesworth and Alconbury.
Let me conclude by again thanking this Committee’s Members and staff for their continued support of EUCOM, not only through providing our requested funding, but also by helping us to articulate the challenges that lie before us. Support from other senior leaders and, above all, from the public at home and across Europe is vital to ensuring that we remain ready and relevant. This is a pivotal time for EUCOM as we transition to meet the demands of a dynamic security environment. I remain confident that through the strength of our Alliance and partnerships, and with the professionalism of our service members, we will adapt and ensure that Europe remains whole, free and at peace.