SASC testimony: Wolters says NATO is stepping up defense investments



By David Vergun DOD News Washington, D.C. Mar 30, 2022
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Russia's premeditated and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has galvanized NATO and global partners, Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters told the Senate Armed Services Committee March 29, 2022.

"We are witnessing a generational moment, a historic demonstration of unity in will and an unprecedented effort by allies to strengthen defense while simultaneously helping those in need," said Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO supreme commander in Europe. 

For instance, NATO ally Germany has committed to meeting the alliance's 2% benchmark for military spending, he said. "We expect other allies will follow and redouble efforts to adequately invest in defense to generate peace — from Turkey in the southeast, to Norway, Sweden and Finland." 

Wolters said U.S. investments in military-to-military relationships, training, and readiness help to build unity, resolve and combat-credible deterrence. 

Years of focused investment through the European Reassurance Initiative and European Deterrence Initiative include facilities, prepositioned equipment, rotational deployments, and all-domain exercises to improve speed and agility, Wolters said. 

Thanks to these initiatives, the Army was able to deploy an entire armored brigade combat team from the U.S. to Germany in just one week amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, he said. "That level of speed and agility is unmatched." 

Air Force Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, testified that Transcom, in concert with Eucom, is providing critical aid to Ukraine and assuring NATO allies through troop deployments and exercises. 

Transcom operates an agile and resilient logistics enterprise comprised of military components, commercial partners and industry teammates, delivering materiel and manpower to allies and partners around the world, she said.  

"We project and sustain the world's most capable military force. The speed and reliability at which we execute these missions, demonstrates our nation's resolve and serves as a deterrent to our adversaries," Van Ovost said.  

Transcom's top readiness concern remains sealift and air refueling assets, as these platforms are approaching the end of their service life, she said. 

For more information on Wolters' SASC testimony and 2022 Posture Statement to Congress, click here.  

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