UNITED STATES SENATE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
GENERAL CURTIS M. SCAPARROTTI, UNITED STATES ARMY COMMANDER
UNITED STATES EUROPEAN COMMAND
March 8, 2018
UNITED STATES SENATE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of this committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you as the Commander of the United States European Command (USEUCOM). It is an honor to represent the more than 60,000 men and women who are forward-deployed supporting our USEUCOM mission. Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and civilian workforce continue to demonstrate selfless service and dedication in an increasingly contested and complex security environment, both in Europe and around the globe. We greatly appreciate the continued support of this committee.
The Trans-Atlantic alliance is a keystone of our national security. USEUCOM, fully aligned with the National Defense Strategy (NDS), supports each of the President’s four National Security Strategy (NSS) objectives by strengthening and safeguarding this alliance. Europe provides essential strategic access in support of U.S. global operations to protect the homeland and the ability to pursue potential threats to their source. As our most significant trading partner, Europe is vital to promoting American prosperity. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) enables us to preserve peace through strength as alliance unity fundamentally deters the aggression of potential adversaries. With shared history and values, Europe is also a critical partner in advancing American influence throughout the world.
There are real threats, however, to U.S. interests in Europe and to Israel (which also falls within the USEUCOM area of responsibility). These threats are trans-regional, multi- domain, and multi-functional. Additionally, the speed, complexity, and breadth of new threats and challenges are increasing.
USEUCOM continues to adjust to this dynamic strategic environment, aggressively adapting our thinking and approaches to meet our assigned missions. In doing so, the Command’s focus has shifted from engagement and assurance to deterrence and defense.
USEUCOM has adapted its plans, posture, activities, and strategic communications to shape 1
the operational environment and prepare forces to respond to crisis at speed. In all these efforts, we are guided by Secretary Mattis’s direction to sharpen our military edge, expand the competitive space with Russia, and provide a combat-credible military force to deter war and protect the security of our Nation.
Our adaptation to the new European security environment has made significant progress thanks to the resourcing provided by Congress, particularly under the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI). USEUCOM deeply appreciates Congress’ support for EDI, which remains crucial to preserving peace and stability in Europe. We have accomplished much, but we have much work to do to support an increasingly lethal, agile, and resilient Joint Force in long-term, strategic competition with Russia and in combat with violent extremist organizations.
USEUCOM STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT
Russia continues to destabilize regional security and disregard international norms,
which have preserved the peace in Europe since 1945. Russia seeks to change the international order, fracture NATO, and undermine U.S. leadership in order to protect its regime, re-assert dominance over its neighbors, and achieve greater influence around the globe. To achieve these ends, the Kremlin is prepared to employ the full spectrum of Russia’s power, to include forcefully using its increasingly capable military. Russia has demonstrated its willingness and capability to intervene in countries along its periphery and to project power -- especially in the Middle East. Additionally, Russia aggressively uses social media and other means of mass communication to push disinformation, test the resolve of the United States, and erode our credibility with European partners.
The Russian military is improving and modernizing its capabilities, enhancing its ability to
be a more agile force capable of executing operations across the entire spectrum of modern
warfare. Moscow’s strategic armament program has led to increased defense spending with an estimated investment of $285 billion in modernization from 2011 through 2020. Russia continues to modernize its nuclear forces and to develop and deploy long-range, precision- guided conventional weapons systems. In the Baltic and Black Sea regions, and in the Eastern Mediterranean, Russia is expanding its anti-access area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities threatening freedom of movement to our land forces, our ships, and our aircraft. In the maritime domain, Russia is making rapid progress with its new Severodvinsk nuclear attack submarine, more capable Kilo submarines, and Kalibr cruise missiles. Russia continues to hold snap exercises and to limit transparency of planned exercises. Additionally, Russia continues to intercept our routine reconnaissance flight operations over the Baltic and Black Seas, flying dangerously close to our aircraft and occasionally causing unsafe conditions for our pilots operating in international airspace.
Along with military modernization, Russia is advancing its indirect and asymmetric capabilities in accordance with its concept of warfare, which envisions the coordinated use of military and non-military elements of national power to shape the strategic environment. Throughout Europe, Russia exercises malign influence to disrupt and attempt to fracture NATO, undermine trans-Atlantic cohesion, and erode democratic foundations. Russia interferes in the electoral process across numerous states, including supporting a plan to violently disrupt elections in Montenegro, the newest member of NATO. Russia works to influence the geopolitical environment through the use of key acquisitions, proxies, and other agents of influence. Using indirect action, particularly against countries along its periphery, Russia seeks to use information operations and cyberspace operations to manipulate and influence the information domain and to shape a narrative of its choosing.
Russia’s strategy of malign influence also includes prolonging unresolved conflicts across Europe and Eurasia. In Ukraine, Russia continues to train and equip proxy forces in the east and refuses to implement its commitments to the Minsk Agreements. As part of Russia’s effort to destabilize Ukraine, the Russian military launched the destructive and costly NotPetya cyber-attack in June 2017. Russia maintains its presence in Moldova, preventing a resolution of the conflict in Transnistria. Russia stations roughly 5,000 troops in Armenia and sells weapons to both Armenia and Azerbaijan despite ongoing tensions over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In Georgia, Russia maintains 7,000 troops in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and has recognized both regions as independent states with military, economic, and social linkages to the Russian Federation, despite the fact that Georgia, supported by the international community, has opposed this recognition. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia uses relationships with the leadership of Republika Srpska to undermine the state institutions established by the Dayton Accords.
The threat from Russia is not limited to the European theater but extends all along its periphery and beyond. Russia is exerting its influence in the Middle East, where its intervention in the Syrian civil war bolstered the Assad regime, enabling the expansion of Iranian influence across the Levant. Russia is also increasing aid to Middle-East states, deepening collaboration with Iran, and extending its influence in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, and Cyprus. These efforts are changing regional dynamics, adversely affecting Israel’s security, stability in Lebanon, and other U.S. interests in the region.
In the Arctic, Russia is revitalizing its northern fleet and building or renovating military bases along their Arctic coast line in anticipation of increased military and commercial activity. Russia also intends to assert sovereignty over the Northern Sea route in violation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Although the chances of military conflict in the Arctic are low in the near-term, Russia is increasing its qualitative advantage in Arctic operations, and its military bases will serve to reinforce Russia’s position with the threat of force.
Our highest strategic priority as a Combatant Command is to deter Russia from
engaging in further aggression and exercising malign influence over our allies and partners. In accordance with the NDS, and thanks to Congressional support, we are working to create a combat-credible posture in Europe that will underpin our deterrence. We are updating our operational plans to provide military response options to defend our European allies against Russian aggression. Finally, we are increasing our efforts to counter Russia’s malign influence in Europe and compete below the level of armed conflict. This includes supporting the Russian Information Group (RIG), an interagency effort to counter Russia’s propaganda and misinformation campaigns.
To effectively expand our competitive space with Russia we must have a whole of government approach that employs all elements of our national power. Visible political, economic, and military commitments are critical in deterring Moscow while reassuring allies. Continued Congressional support is essential to our Nation’s ability to successfully compete with Russia over the long-term, shore up the international order, and preserve European security.
Violent Extremist Organizations and Terrorism
Violent extremists remain a significant threat to our allies and partners throughout the
Euro-Atlantic. Decentralized transregional terrorist organizations thrive in the security vacuums of failed states. Additionally, violent extremists continue to pose a threat to U.S. personnel, our allies, and our infrastructure in Europe and around the globe.
As coalition actions recover ISIS-seized territory in Iraq and Syria, ISIS remains active and seeks to expand its operations across Europe. ISIS operatives and sympathizers are targeting European citizens for radicalization and recruitment. In cyberspace, ISIS reaches across geographic boundaries to entice new followers, direct acts of terrorism, and spread their extremist ideology.
USEUCOM works directly with our European partners and our Combatant Command
counterparts to identify and counter threats to the U.S. and U.S. interests. USEUCOM provides forces for military operations against ISIS, such as Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR), in the Middle East. In addition, we continue to increase information and intelligence-sharing among U.S. agencies, international partners, and the private commercial sector. We also continue to pursue radicals in the digital domain where they are able to hide and recruit others. These efforts help close the seams exploited by terrorist networks and link global counterterrorism efforts to reduce the Homeland’s vulnerability to terrorism emanating from Europe and to reduce the terrorist threat to our allies.
Coordination among NATO, partner nations, and international organizations such as EUROPOL and INTERPOL is central to defeating VEOs. For example, information sharing and coordination with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) has assisted investigations in more than 80 countries to date. Our EU, NATO, and USEUCOM-shared Tri- nodal Community of Action targets existing VEO networks and facilitates expanded intelligence and law enforcement information-sharing.
European allies provide essential strategic access for U.S., allied, and coalition counter- terrorism operations in the AFRICOM and CENTCOM Areas of Responsibility (AOR). The U.S. depends on countries in the USEUCOM AOR to grant overflight and use of host-nation facilities in countries where we do not have permanent basing. U.S. facilities in the USEUCOM AOR are not sovereign U.S. territory, and therefore basing and access permissions to conduct operations from these facilities are subject to limitations in bilateral agreements with host-nations. In addition to providing critical strategic access, European allies deploy forces worldwide to support U.S.-led counter-terrorism operations, including OIR and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS), as well as to conduct national counter-terrorism missions. Allies are committed to this fight, and their support is essential to our ongoing counter-terrorism efforts.
Deterring Russia and defeating violent extremist organizations constitute USEUCOM’s two main priorities. Supporting these main efforts, within the NATO alliance and throughout the
AOR, we are working to strengthen strategic relationships, bolster regional security, and reinforce a free and open international order.
NATO allies are adapting to new strategic realities, recognizing their need to remain fit
for purpose. They are making significant gains in meeting their security commitments and implementing decisions made at the 2014 Wales and 2016 Warsaw Summits. Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania have joined the United States, Greece, Poland, Estonia, and the United Kingdom in meeting NATO’s 2% defense spending target, and by 2024, 15 allies are expected to reach or exceed the 2% guideline. Additionally, in 2018, 22 NATO members will meet the 20% target for defense expenditures devoted to investment in major equipment and related research and development. We have now seen three consecutive years of growth among European allies and Canada, adding approximately $46 billion (USD) to defense.
Another aspect of burden sharing is contributions to operations, missions, and other activities. Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom serve as Framework Nations for NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battle groups in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia respectively. The United Kingdom, Romania, and Croatia contribute forces to the U.S.-led eFP battle group in Poland, and Italy is the Framework Nation for the 2018 NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force brigade. Allies are committing personnel to fill gaps in the Resolute Support Mission and Kosovo Forces (KFOR). Nations are also adding capabilities and skills in cyber, joint effects, and asymmetric action to remain relevant to the changing character of warfare in the new strategic environment. Allies are also working together to ensure the credibility and readiness of our nuclear deterrent, which requires continued commitment and investment.
Given the realities of this strategic environment, the alliance has undertaken a NATO Command Structure Adaptation (NCS-A) effort. The new NCS design will account for the complexity stemming from the interrelation of crises and threats, the emergence of new warfare domains, the speed and breadth of combat action, and the requirements for the timely fusion of information and decision-making from the tactical to strategic levels. Proposed changes include increased manpower at command headquarters for situational awareness, planning, and targeting capabilities, a third Joint Force Command focused on the Atlantic maritime space, and a Joint Support and Enabling Command to facilitate multi-directional force maneuver and support in conflict. Combined, the proposed organizations, enablers, and processes will improve the capability and capacity of the Alliance for vigilance in peace, responsiveness in crisis, and strategic depth in a large-scale, multi-domain conflict.
USEUCOM is supporting NATO’s augmentations in deterrence and defense forces. Since April 2017, USEUCOM’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2CR), based in Vilseck, Germany, and has fulfilled the U.S. commitment as the Framework Nation for the NATO eFP battle group in Poland. 2CR will hand off the eFP mission in September 2018 to the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment of the Tennessee Army National Guard. In the fall of 2017, USEUCOM’s 493 Fighter Squadron deployed to Lithuania to conduct the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission. In addition to operational deployments, we are contributing to NATO defense and operational planning in such areas as NATO operational fires, integrated air and missile defense (IAMD), and hand- over/take-over between U.S. and NATO headquarters. Finally, USEUCOM support to the NATO exercise program includes leading the planning for U.S. participation in the TRIDENT JUNCTURE 18 exercise in Norway scheduled for late October 2018. Approximately 30,000 U.S., allied, and partner nation personnel are expected to participate in TRIDENT JUNCTURE 18.
With the close support of other Geographic and Functional Combatant Commanders, the Joint Staff, the Services, and the Missile Defense Agency, USEUCOM and its Service components are augmenting NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defense. The implementation of European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) Phase 3 will increase NATO’s strategic depth.
Recent multi-national deployments in support of Operation ACTIVE FENCE in Turkey, and NATO’s ongoing development of complementary BMD capabilities demonstrate clear progress on a combined IAMD architecture.
To enhance freedom of movement in the European theater, USEUCOM has formulated a military mobility strategy that will enable US and Allied forces to respond to crises at speed. We have leveraged Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) and Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) rotations to refine our understanding of the requirements and timelines for Joint Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration (JRSOI) of forces deploying into the theater. Through bilateral and multilateral key leader engagements, we have encouraged our European allies to address policies and procedures that impede freedom of movement.
USEUCOM complements its support to NATO with bilateral partnership and capacity building efforts with allies and partners. In FY17, USEUCOM conducted over 2,500 military-to- military engagements, including over 700 State Partnership Program events in 22 countries, and under Section 1251 authority, USEUCOM trained nine allies in 22 exercises. These activities directly support ongoing U.S. and NATO operations, increase interoperability, promote partner nation integration in the Euro-Atlantic community, and foster relationships that enhance U.S. strategic access. Our partnership focus helps allies and partners in Eastern and Southern Europe meet emerging security challenges. For example, along with British and German counterparts, USEUCOM implements the Transatlantic Capability Enhancement and Training (TACET) initiative, which synchronizes the contributions of more than a dozen NATO allies in the Baltic states and Poland across the joint, land, air and maritime domains. Additionally, with approximately $35M of FY17 Section 333 support and $18M in FY15 State Department Foreign Military Financing (FMF) support, USEUCOM is launching the Georgia Defense Readiness Program this spring. The program will augment Georgia's military readiness and ability to support both national and NATO missions. Through these and other activities, USEUCOM helps to ensure that NATO hones its operational edge that allies meet defense obligations, and
that partners are equipped to defend their sovereign territory.
USEUCOM continues its strong support of Ukraine’s efforts to build its defense capacity
to defend itself from Russian aggression. Following the occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its invasion of eastern Ukraine, Russia has done little to nothing to implement the commitments it made in the Minsk agreements. Russia remains satisfied with the status quo in the hope that its multifaceted effort to destabilize Ukraine will eventually succeed so that Russia can reassert its sphere of influence. Russia continues to foment the conflict in eastern Donbas, where it arms, trains, leads, and fights alongside Russian-led forces. In Crimea, Russia has increased its post-annexation military posture, forming a new Army Corps with reconnaissance and coastal defense forces and increasing capabilities.
Despite Russia’s destabilizing actions, Ukraine is making progress toward its goal to achieve NATO interoperability, but much remains to be done. USEUCOM, working with DOD and the interagency, supports Ukraine’s development of capable, accountable, and transparent institutions. The Ukrainian government recognizes its need to develop a capable, sustainable, professional defense force interoperable with Euro-Atlantic military structures. Ukraine’s defense reforms will improve its ability to deter and defend against Russian aggression. The Multinational Joint Commission (MJC) for Defense Reform and Security Cooperation in Ukraine is the primary vehicle for U.S. and allied security assistance. The MJC meets semiannually with representatives from Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Canada, Lithuania, Poland, and the U.S. to identify Ukrainian requirements and prioritize training, equipment, and advisory initiatives.
USEUCOM support to Ukraine falls into three broad areas. First, we lead the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine (JMTG-U) program to train Ukrainian forces. Under U.S. Army Europe and Special Operations Command Europe, the JMTG-U provides individual and collective training to conventional battalions and special operations units within Ukraine’s Armed
Forces. JMTG-U also supervises train-the-trainer efforts, which will allow Ukraine to assume full training responsibility by 2020. Second, USEUCOM provides recommendations on the utilization of security assistance funds to support Ukraine’s self-defense capacity. Since 2014, the United States has provided over $850 million in security assistance to Ukraine through Department of State and Defense authorities. These funds have provided counter-battery radar support, medical assistance, communications, command and control, HMMWVs, night vision devices, and training and advising assistance. The President recently decided to provide enhanced defensive capabilities to Ukraine, as part of the US effort to help Ukraine build its long-term defense capacity, to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to deter further aggression. Third, USEUCOM supports broader Presidential and Ministerial-level reform activity directed at Ukraine’s defense institutions.
In the Balkans, our command directly supports U.S. efforts to promote regional stability.
USEUCOM is assisting the Kosovo Security Forces (KSF) with implementing its Security Sector Review transformation recommendations. Security cooperation activities include developing English language capability, leadership training, equipment to support the KSF core competencies in search and rescue, explosive ordinance disposal and demining, hazardous material response, and fire-fighting.
USEUCOM also continues to support the U.S. contribution of approximately 600 personnel to Kosovo Forces (KFOR). In accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, KFOR’s mission is to contribute to the maintenance of a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement throughout Kosovo for citizens of all ethnicities, as well as for NATO and EU personnel. KFOR helps ensure conditions remain conducive for continued EU-facilitated dialogue to normalize relations between Pristina and Belgrade, while Serbia sees KFOR as a way to ensure the security of ethnic Serbs in Kosovo. As a nonpartisan, professional presence, KFOR is essential to the security and stability of Kosovo and the greater region.
In Bosnia-Herzegovina, our security cooperation activities focus on assisting the Bosnian Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces meet NATO standards and interoperability goals, while supporting their aspirations to join the Alliance. Troops from Bosnia-Herzegovina already support NATO operations, such as the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
EUCOM works closely with interagency partners such as the Departments of Justice, Treasury, Energy, and State to facilitate and enhance support for democratic institutions and processes in the Balkans and to counter malign influence. Balkan nations view the United States as a major supporter of their efforts to develop institutions and processes that promote the rule of law and strengthen governmental systems.
Russia is exerting its influence in the Balkans to prevent individual nations from progressing on a Euro-Atlantic path. We must assist our NATO Allies in the region as they seek to increase their resiliency in the face of Russian malign influence. We must also support our non-NATO partners as they pursue a brighter future as part of the Euro-Atlantic family of nations.
Turkey is a strategic ally for the U.S. and NATO, a proven enabler for combat operations, and a pivotal player in our long-term competition for a favorable balance of power. USEUCOM actively participates in several ongoing efforts to explore strategic issues and find bi-lateral solutions mutually supporting U.S. and Turkish interests. Through increased intelligence sharing, continued counter-terrorism coordination, and regular military-to-military dialogue, USEUCOM is committed to strengthening the trust between the U.S. and Turkey.
Situated within Europe’s strategic southeastern security zone, Turkey is a key stakeholder of regional security, stability, and access. Turkey provides the United States with proven logistical support, as demonstrated in Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, and now INHERENT RESOLVE. Turkey also supports Operation ATLANTIC RESOLVE and NATO activities in the Black and Mediterranean Seas, while securing one of the region’s most important sea lines of communication through the Turkish Straits.
A major customer of our defense technology, Turkey has 334 open foreign military sales (FMS) cases, valued at over $9.9B. These sales are important components of the broad U.S.- NATO effort to ensure interoperability of equipment and combined training in Western tactics, techniques, and procedures.
Turkey’s geographic location also puts it at the crossroads of the theater’s two primary security challenges—Russian subversion and the terrorist threat from ISIS. With instability along its southern border and more than 3 million Syrian refugees within its borders, Turkey has been affected by the Syrian war more than any other NATO country. Meanwhile, Russia benefits from political disputes between Turkey and NATO allies that it can exploit to undermine trust and unity. In alignment with the National Defense Strategy’s direction to fortify the Trans- Atlantic alliance, USEUCOM will safeguard and strengthen the U.S.-Turkey relationship.
The United States’ commitment to the security of Israel is unwavering. Our ongoing support and commitment to Israel is focused on enhanced mil-to-mil cooperation to ensure our Israeli partners maintain a qualitative military edge. Israel continues to be the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, and in September 2016, the United States and Israel signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides $3.8B a year in military assistance over the FY2019 – FY2028 period. As the executor of the U.S.-Israel military-to-military relationship, USEUCOM maintains a robust series of senior leader engagements, constant coordination, and multiple joint exercises. This bond has assumed greater significance as the regional security environment has become increasingly volatile and complex.
THE WAY AHEAD
USEUCOM is determined to address the diverse challenges in the European theater by capitalizing on our strengths, building new capabilities, and leveraging relationships with European allies and partners. We are working to optimize the force posture of land, air, maritime, and cyberspace units. We are enhancing the resiliency and redundancy of our infrastructure network to enable reliable and flexible response options. We are improving cyberspace security and operations through joint defense activities with allies and partners. However, we cannot accomplish our assigned missions without the continued support of Congress. The resources requested in DOD’s FY 2018 and FY 2019 Budget requests are needed to implement the National Defense Strategy, especially to deter, defend, and expand our competitive space with Russia.
Deterring adversaries is contingent on U.S. forces retaining a decisive edge in combat capabilities, agility and flexibility, on our ability to respond rapidly in a crisis, and on U.S. presence as a constant reminder of the costs of aggression and miscalculation. U.S. force posture in Europe has been augmented by increased rotational presence, enhanced pre- positioning of equipment, and military infrastructure improvements. Posturing a combat-credible force in Europe as called for in the NDS is essential to deterring future aggressors, preserving stability, and reassuring allies and partners. A combat-credible force includes a combination of assigned and rotational combat forces, flexible basing options, and pre-positioned equipment in the theater.
European Deterrence Initiative (EDI)
USEUCOM’s preparedness and agility to respond amidst the uncertainty posed by the
current strategic environment is contingent upon adequate and predictable resourcing. The European Deterrence Initiative provides resources that are essential to deterring Russian aggression while assuring European allies of the U.S. commitment to NATO’s Article 5. These resources, in addition to the base budget funding that supports USEUCOM, enable our headquarters and Service components to: 1) increase presence through the use of rotational forces; 2) increase the depth and breadth of exercises and training with NATO allies and theater partners; 3) preposition supplies and equipment to facilitate rapid reinforcement of U.S. and allied forces; 4) improve infrastructure at key locations to improve our ability to support steady state and contingency operations; and 5) build the capacity of allies and partners to contribute to their own deterrence and defense.
EDI-funded land forces capabilities are resourcing USEUCOM’s requirement for an ABCT presence along with a Division Mission Command Element and combat support and service support enablers. Coupled with CAB rotations, integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) enhancements, ISR initiatives, and eFP support, this increased in-theater presence across Eastern Europe has fundamentally improved our readiness and posture.
In the air domain, we leverage EDI to deploy theater security packages of bombers as well as 4th and 5th generation fighter aircraft to execute deterrence missions and train with ally and partner nation air forces. We are building prepositioned kits for the Air Force’s European Contingency Air Operation Sets (ECAOS) and making improvements to existing Allied airfield infrastructure, which will afford us the ability to rapidly respond with air power in the event of a contingency.
In the maritime domain, we are expanding our theater antisubmarine warfare capabilities
both by improving our sensor capabilities as well as increasing our capability to surge P-8 antisubmarine assets to critical areas. Additionally, EDI dollars help fund USEUCOM’s mission partner environment, which successfully linked into NATO’s federated mission network during exercise STEADFAST COBALT last year. This was a significant step in improving interoperability with NATO.
Finally, EDI supports mil-to-mil engagements and exercises that improve interoperability and build partner capacity. Joint exercise SABER GUARDIAN 17, a U.S Army Europe led event in Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria focused on building readiness and improving interoperability under a unified command and control framework. In total, nearly 25,000 U.S., Ally, and partner nation personnel from 21 European countries demonstrated the ability to execute the full range of military missions in the Black Sea Region.
To retain our competitive edge and build on the progress made over the last few years since the implementation of the European Reassurance Initiative and EDI, we continue to work within Departmental processes to meet our posture requirements across warfare domains, with consistent targets and a long-term view.
We continue to enhance our assigned and rotational land forces to meet the requirement
for an armored division accompanied by critical enablers, such as a fully sourced combat aviation brigade, long-range fires, engineers, and sustainment brigades. This armored capability will be comprised of forward stationed and persistent rotational units as well as prepositioned stocks and infrastructure that enable us to rapidly aggregate these capabilities.
USEUCOM requires additional combat and aviation support air assets, to include
prepositioned assets, airfield infrastructure improvements, and dispersed basing. The FY18
and FY19 budget requests have begun the process of funding investments that enable the rapid reception of fourth and fifth generation fighters, close air support, bombers, and air mobility aircraft in a contingency. We have detailed these requirements in our ECAOS concept, funded through the Administration’s EDI request.
Additional maritime capabilities are being requested to increase our lethality in the
maritime domain and to counter Russian maritime capabilities. Similar to the land and air domains, this necessitates infrastructure improvements to sea ports of debarkation (SPOD) as well as prepositioning critical naval capabilities such as munitions. The FY19 request also provides additional capability for antisubmarine warfare (ASW) sensors and platforms such as the P-8s. Additionally, USEUCOM is working with the Department to increase the rotational presence of guided missile destroyers, a Carrier Strike Group, and attack submarines, all of which provide lethal combat power to deter our adversaries and counter growing threats in the undersea domain.
USEUCOM has requested enhancements to Marine Corps Prepositioned Program-
Norway to allow the rapid deployment of naval expeditionary forces. USEUCOM has also asked the Department to assess the role that an increased Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit (ARG/MEU) presence could play in the AOR, recognizing that deployments in the Mediterranean allow for response to threats in three Geographic Combatant Commands.
Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD)
It is essential that our assigned and rotational multi-domain forces are protected by a robust, layered IAMD capability. The FY19 budget calls for the development of an IAMD architecture that begins to address USEUCOM’s requirements for capabilities such as those provide by Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Patriot batteries. These capabilities will ensure we can effectively maneuver forces throughout the AOR. Our approach to IAMD must be inclusive with our NATO allies and key partners as we face a growing ballistic missile threat from regional adversaries.
C4ISR is a fundamental capability set for the Global Operating Model articulated by the NDS. To this end, the FY19 budget helps to reverse the long-term reductions in ISR platforms, in manning, and in processing, exploitation and dissemination (PED) capabilities. This includes growing our cadre of intelligence linguists and analysts, adding permanently stationed ISR platforms to the theater, and expanding our satellite footprint.
USEUCOM’s command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) networks must also become more resilient and survivable. More work is needed to ensure the sustainment of operations and to maintain freedom of maneuver in cyberspace. We are working with the Services to develop infrastructure that will significantly increase C4I capability and resilience.
Freedom of Movement
The ability to rapidly surge combat ready forces into and across the theater is critical to deterring future Russian aggression. Improving freedom of movement and force maneuver both prior to and during conflict requires enhancing our logistics infrastructure. Additional organic logistical assets are being deployed to reduce reliance on commercial providers, mitigate distribution gaps, and accelerate steady state operations. We are also increasing our close coordination among U.S. agencies, NATO, the EU, and individual European nations.
If fully funded, and once the necessary access agreements are in place, the FY18 and FY19 EDI program requests will increase freedom of maneuver for the Joint Force by establishing critical logistical hubs capable of supporting maritime operations in the North Atlantic and increasing pre-positioned forward stocks of equipment and munitions. USEUCOM will maximize cost sharing initiatives, such as the NATO Security Investment Program, and increase coordination with European nations and commercial entities to further enhance mobility.
A key pillar of our overall deterrence approach is a campaign of high end, multi-domain exercises. We will continue to coordinate our Joint Exercise Program with NATO allies and partner nations to enhance our high-end combat capabilities, promote interoperability, and sustain strategic access.
USEUCOM is expanding its cyber capabilities and integrating cyber operations into full-spectrum military activities. USEUCOM is focused on refining cyberspace information sharing tactics, techniques and procedures. To ensure wartime interoperability, USEUCOM is engaged with NATO Allies’ and partners’ logistics and cyberspace experts to develop a shared framework for cybersecurity.
In closing, I want to again thank Congress for its continued support for USEUCOM– especially for the European Deterrence Initiative – and for helping us to articulate to the Nation the very real challenges that the United States and NATO face in the European theater. Russia is engaged in strategic competition with the United States, pursuing a strategy that undermines the international order and erodes U.S. leadership and influence. Violent extremists, also intent on destroying a Western, rules-based system, remain a significant threat. Faced with these challenges, we must reestablish our military competitive advantage and ensure our forces are prepared to address the challenges of this complex, dynamic, and competitive strategic environment. The Service members and civilians of USEUCOM stand ready to do so. We are fully committed to being the agile, lethal, and resilient force needed to protect and defend the Homeland while supporting a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.