U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Opening Statement
Statement said by General Curtis Scaparrotti in Washington D.C. on May 3, 2017.

Chairman Moran, Ranking Member Schatz, and distinguished members of the committee, I am honored to testify today as the Commander of United States European Command.  I would like to thank the committee for passing the FY17 MILCON bill last September, providing EUCOM with stabile, predictable, on-time funding. The projects go a long way to support posturing EUCOM to meet our operational requirements. On behalf of over 60,000 permanently assigned Service members as well as civilians, contractors, and their families who serve and represent our Nation in Europe, we appreciate your support.
The European theater remains critical to our national interests.  The NATO Alliance gives us a unique advantage over our adversaries -- a united, capable, warfighting alliance resolved in its purpose and strengthened by shared values that have been forged in battle.  EUCOM’s relationship with NATO and with our European partners provides the United States with a network of willing nations who support global operations and secure the international rules-based order.  Our security architecture protects almost one billion people and safeguards transatlantic trade, which now constitutes almost half of the world’s GDP.  
    However, this security architecture is being tested, and today we face the most dynamic European strategic environment in recent history.  Political volatility and economic uncertainty are compounded by threats to our security system that are trans-regional, multi-domain, and multi-functional.  In the East, a resurgent Russia has turned from partner to antagonist as it seeks to undermine the Western-led international order and reassert itself as a global power.  Countries along Russia’s periphery, including Ukraine and Georgia, struggle against Moscow’s malign activities and military actions.  In the Southeast, strategic drivers of instability converge on key allies, especially Turkey, which has to simultaneously manage Russia, terrorists, and refugee flows.  
In the South, violent extremists and transnational criminal elements spawn terror and corruption from North Africa to the Middle East while refugees flee to Europe in search of security and opportunity.  And in the “High North,” Russia is reasserting its military presence and positioning itself for strategic advantage in the Arctic.
    In response to these challenges, EUCOM has shifted its focus from security cooperation and engagement to deterrence and defense.  Accordingly, we are adjusting our posture, plans, and readiness so that we remain relevant to the threats we face.  In short, we are returning to our historic role as a warfighting command.
    EUCOM’s transition would not be possible without Congressional appropriations in support of the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI).  Over the past 12 months, EUCOM has made clear progress with an enhanced force presence, complex exercises and training, increased prepositioning of equipment and supplies, and partner capacity building throughout Europe.  EUCOM’s military construction program continues to build on ongoing posture initiatives, infrastructure recapitalization, and the expansion of operational infrastructure.  Thanks to Congressional support, EUCOM has proceeded with the recapitalization of the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center replacement project and the Joint Intelligence Analysis Center, which I continue to believe is operationally imperative that EUCOM, AFRICOM and NIFC – that’s the NATO facility - intelligence organizations remain collocated and that this project move forward as planned.  
    With your continued support, I remain confident in our ability to effect this return to a warfighting focus.  But there is much work to do.  Our force posture needs to increase to provide a credible deterrence to Russian aggression, and we must have infrastructure to support this increased posture.  Significant investments are needed to provide capacity for operations, exercises, training, reception, staging, and prepositioned assets.  The funds provided through ERI have jump-started infrastructure construction, but we must continue to invest in the projects required to provide a ready and capable force presence.  Accordingly, EUCOM is working with the Services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense to prepare budget submissions for FY18.  
    Let me conclude by again thanking this Committee’s Members and the staff for their continued appropriations in support of EUCOM.  Your support, that of other senior leaders, and, above all, the support of the public at home and across Europe are vital to ensuring that we have a ready and relevant force.  This remains a pivotal time for EUCOM as we transition to meet the demands of a dynamic security environment.  I remain confident that through the strength of our alliances and partnerships, and with the professionalism of our Service members, we will adapt and ensure that Europe remains whole, free and at peace.     
    Chairman, thank you, and I look forward to your questions.

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