Senior military leaders from U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and NATO's Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum met virtually today as part of ongoing staff talks between the two organizations dedicated to enhanced understanding and collaboration.
Hosted virtually by USEUCOM's deputy commander, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Howard and JFC Brunssum's Commanding General German Army Gen. Jörg Vollmer, the event covered a range of topics from operational readiness to exercises and logistics and deterrence.
A consistent theme throughout the discussions was improved synchronization between the two staffs for greater situational awareness of activities and operations.
“Our efforts are all about improving our shared understanding between one another," said Vollmer.
An important theme during the talks was that, while the organizations have differences, what they do together is practical and complementary.
“We recognize NATO's important role and our collaboration allows for greater progress in the complex environment in which we operate every day,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Rathbun, chief of planning and exercises for USEUCOM's directorate for logistics. “We are committed to increasing the interaction between nations to help us think more broadly.”
Vollmer echoed Rathbun's comments offering, “without logistics we cannot do our mission. We must build a recognized logistical picture to improve readiness,” he said.
Headquartered in the Netherlands, JFC Brunssum has a large portfolio of responsibilities, amongst other things, including acting as the out-of-theatre Operational-level HQs for the Alliance’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan and responsibility for the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
Both Howard and Vollmer concluded the event by emphasizing the necessity of making the staff talks a habit, rather than a scheduling effort. “This (habit-approach) will help quite a lot,” Vollmer offered.
U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) is responsible for U.S. military operations across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. USEUCOM is comprised of approximately 72,000 military and civilian personnel and works closely with NATO Allies and partners. The command is one of two U.S. forward-deployed geographic combatant commands headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. For more information about USEUCOM, visit https://www.eucom.mil/.