The Department of Defense has been reviewing U.S. military posture around the world for quite some time, assessing the most appropriate and effective ways to realign a post Cold War force posture to address 21st-century threats. The President's speech outlines the first broad steps in implementing this global realignment. Some key points on how the President's announcement affects the U.S. European Command area of operations include:
· Our efforts will support NATO's own transformation. We aim to eliminate Cold War legacy structures that are no longer relevant to today's security needs. Our future posture will contain forward forces that are rapidly deployable for early entry into conflict regions in Europe, Africa and beyond.
· Ground, air, and naval headquarters will be streamlined and consolidated.
· Special Forces, both forward-stationed and rotational, will increase in importance; they will be positioned for ease of movement both within and outside of Europe.
· Rotational air, ground, and sea forces will provide presence without permanence, assuring our allies and partners while accounting for regional sensitivities.
· * Forward Operating Sites and Cooperative Security Locations, particularly in new NATO member states, will provide both greater operational flexibility and opportunities for advanced bilateral and NATO-wide training.
· In Africa, we will expand our cooperative security relationships to help partners meet the challenges of ungoverned and under-governed areas. We have no plans for Main Operating Bases in Africa. Rather, with a diverse array of Forward Operating Sites (FOS) and Cooperative Security Locations (CSL), we will enhance regional training, assist partners in building capacity for counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics operations, and maintain contingency access for remote areas.
· It is important to understand that the President's transformation plan will take several years to implement. It will be done deliberately and in consultation the U.S. Congress and with our friends and allies in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility. There is no set timetable, nor will implementation be a "big bang" event, with changes occurring all at once.
· Global Posture -- The worldwide, strategic deployment of military personnel, equipment, and installations, particularly in overseas areas.
· Main Operating Base (MOB) -- A MOB is an overseas, permanently manned, well protected base, used to support permanently deployed forces, and with robust sea and/or air access.
· *Forward Operating Site (FOS) -- A FOS is a scalable, "warm" facility that can support sustained operations, but with only a small permanent presence of support or contractor personnel. A FOS will host occasional rotational forces and many contain pre-positioned equipment.
· *Cooperative Security Location (CSL) -- A CSL is a host-nation facility with little or no permanent U.S. personnel presence, which may contain pre-positioned equipment and/or logistical arrangements and serve both for security cooperation activities and contingency access.