More than 20 Ally and partner senior logistics leaders from across Europe met virtually to attend the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) Multilateral Logistics Leader Seminar (MLLS) last week.
These national representatives were joined by more than 100 logistics staff professionals. Attendees spanned the U.S., Canada, and European nations from the Baltics to the Balkans demonstrating the breadth of the logistics network operating throughout Europe and the NATO Alliance.
The purpose of this inaugural event was to assist with the development of a professional logistics force that is better equipped to respond to crisis and maintain steady-state operations. It also allowed senior leaders to discuss the critical nature of logistics and its impact on enhancing operational readiness and capabilities.
Logisticians play a vital role across all domains when it comes to warfighting readiness. Without logistics operations and exercises are difficult at best to achieve.
“Forums such as this one, where Allies and partners are brought together, remain critical to our collective efforts,” said Rear Adm. Duke Heinz, USEUCOM’s logistics director and host of the event. “They increase efficiency across a spectrum of mobility options that secures the European continent.” Heinz went on to say that logisticians are the key to enhancing speed and posture, offering, “Logisticians must ensure road and rail movement will not be hindered by unexpected delays.”
This year’s theme, “Professionalization of the Logistics Force through Institutional Capacity Building,” was aimed at developing an effective dialogue between senior leaders and their institutional logistics specialists. The dialogue is aimed at enhancing leadership’s ability to make better informed decisions that will have positive second and third-order effects.
Opening the seminar, USEUCOM’s Commander, U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, stressed the importance of logistics stating “It’s about converging tactics, techniques and procedures, and command and control, to deliver them at the right place and time, enabling combat credible forces.” Wolters emphasized that logistics “is much more than replenishments.”
The seminar included a wide variety of discussions from examining logistics challenges to identifying opportunities to strengthen interoperability among Allies and partners. The one-day event included presentations by U.S. and NATO logistics professionals and panel discussions with key Ally and partner logistics leaders including Romania, Estonia, Poland, and Croatia.
For the Allies and partners in attendance, the MLLS underscored the importance of collaboration across Europe, and attendees all agreed that these types of events continue to strengthen logistics partnerships in the future.
The MLLS presents an opportunity to have visibility on other nations’ activities and actions across the European theater so that overlaps can be avoided, said Col. Gia Mchedlishvili, head of J-4 logistics department, General Staff, Georgian Defense Forces.
“The European theater represents a single area of responsibility from a logistics standpoint despite distance and diversity among nations,” he said. “Personal engagement among logistics leaders is essential for the better understanding of general and specific issues across the region.”
USEUCOM continues to work with its Allies and partners to enable logistical and mobility efforts, and reinforce capacity building from a whole-of-government perspective.
“With a standardized customs procedure, we could collectively accelerate cross-border movement and mitigate challenges posed by multiple requirements,” Heinz said. “By, with and through our Allies and Partners, from north to south and east to west, I see a future where forces can move across Europe seamlessly.”
To learn more about USEUCOM’s recent logistics efforts, visit our website: https://www.eucom.mil
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 more than 64,000 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.