U.S. European Command continues to support the defense and security of NATO allies and bolster the security and capacity of U.S. partners in Europe. The European Reassurance Initiative (ERI), part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, signed by President Obama on December 19, 2014, included $985 million in ERI funds. These monies enable the Department of Defense to continue its efforts to reinforce America’s solemn commitment to the safety and territorial integrity of our allies and to strengthen the security and capacity of our partners in the region.
"ERI is an infusion of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds for Fiscal Year 15 designed to support increased capability, presence, readiness, and responsiveness to deter further destabilization in Central and Eastern Europe," said Major General Randy A. Kee, Director, Strategy and Policy, at U.S. European Command. "It specifically funds an increase in the rotational presence of U.S. forces in Europe; additional bilateral and multilateral exercises and training; improved infrastructure to receive reinforcements and support onward movement and enhanced prepositioning of U.S. equipment in Europe," he said.
The ERI enables the DoD to, among other things: Continue Operation Atlantic Resolve, which includes conducting military exercises and training on land, in the air and at sea, while sustaining a rotational presence across Europe; and increase the responsiveness of U.S. forces to reinforce NATO by exploring initiatives such as prepositioning of equipment and enhancing reception facilities in Europe.
Reassurance to NATO Allies
ERI funding will help increase the capability, readiness and responsiveness of NATO forces, primarily through the funding of rotational force presence in Eastern Europe, as well as through the improvement of ground and air training and staging sites. Combined training and theater security cooperation engagements with our Allies and partners demonstrate that we share a commitment to promoting a Europe that is whole, free and at peace.
The ERI is already increasing responsiveness and readiness by pre-positioning ammunition, fuel and equipment for use in regional training and exercises, as well as improving infrastructure that enhances NATO operations and enables Eastern Allies to rapidly receive reinforcements. The U.S./European strategic partnership has been forged over the past seven decades and is built on a foundation of shared values, experiences and vision. Our persistent, rotational presence in Central and Eastern Europe is fully in line with our international commitments and agreements, and provides a visible sign of our commitment to collective defense.
Military Assistance to Support Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia
The United States will use ERI funds to build the capacity of key partners to provide for their own defense and improve interoperability with NATO. The U.S. stands by its allies and partners, as they have stood by us. We will continue to take actions that increase the capability, readiness, and responsiveness of NATO forces to address any threat and that aid in deterring further destabilizing activities. Congress specifically appropriated $175 million to bolster the governments of Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as they potentially have to defend their sovereignty against expanding regional aggression.
A mixture of Military Construction (MILCON) and minor construction projects will help create an enduring presence in the European area of responsibility to better allow U.S. forces to work closer with our partner nations through rotational deployments. Projects related to land forces are primarily focused on firing ranges and training area improvements throughout Eastern Europe, as well as infrastructure required to allow access to host nation training areas. Where required, structures will be developed to enable training – such as classrooms for instruction and buildings to store range targets. Construction projects related to air operations are focused on improving existing airfields, as well as cargo handling and passenger support operations in Eastern Europe. Finally, additional construction projects are slated to improve weapons storage capabilities in the theater.
Some examples of locations where MILCON projects are planned to be executed include:
The ERI helps assist the continued, visible demonstration of the United States’ resolve to support NATO reassurance measures and bolster the security and capacity of America’s partners in the region.
For additional information, please contact U.S. European Command Media Operations at
(+49) 0711-680-6868/6618/8010 or via e-mail to: email@example.com