U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Steven Basham, deputy commander, U.S. European Command, hosted Secretary General of the Austrian Ministry of Defense, Dr. Arnold Kammel, and members of Kammel’s staff at the command’s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, on Nov. 30, 2023.
The meeting, aimed at identifying areas for future military cooperation, builds on a broadening relationship after Austria and the Vermont National Guard formalized their partnership under the State Partnership Program in 2022.
“Today’s meeting was another important step toward strengthening our relationship with a long-standing partner in Austria,” said Basham. “Our strategic partnership with Austria already includes cooperation for military mobility, information exchanges and military-to-military engagements through the State Partnership Program. We look forward to furthering our mutual commitment to realize a shared vision for European security.”
The two nations’ military-to-military engagement has steadily increased since partnering via the State Partnership Program, including an air exchange in June in which the Vermont Air National Guard flew F-35s alongside Austrian Eurofighter Typhoons at Hinterstoisser Air Base near Zeltweg, Austria.
“Relations with the USA are of particular importance to Austria. The deepening of the strategic partnership with the USA, anchored in the Austrian government program and the growing State Partnership Program, underline this fact,” said Kammel. “As one of the key players in global security and defense policy, the USA is also relevant for Austria in other areas. Today's talks mark a further point in the strengthening of joint cooperation.”
The long-standing cooperation between the U.S. and Austria has also included participation in the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation program, which aims to enable movement of military personnel and assets within the borders of the EU. That intra-European movement is pivotal to the U.S.’ ability to successfully conduct military exercises and operations.
The State Partnership Program pairs U.S. National Guard units with Allied and partner militaries within the USEUCOM area of responsibility to facilitate cooperation across all aspects of international civil-military affairs.
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 65,000 permanent military personnel supported by rotational forces and DoD civilians working closely with NATO Allies and partners. As no nation can confront today’s challenges alone, U.S. European Command is committed to preserving the mutual commitment, support and trust we share with our Allies and partners. The command is one of two U.S. forward-deployed geographic combatant commands headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. For more information about USEUCOM, visit www.eucom.mil.