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Eucom Commander Hosts Conference on Regional Issues

May 24, 2018

Challenges and threats across the European theater, Russian malign influence and taking a whole-of-government approach to operations were among the topics of a three-day conference of diplomatic and military leaders based in Europe here this week.

Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. European Command, hosted a U.S. ambassador and European chiefs of defense conference, allowing the leaders to come together to continue to strengthen collaboration and embrace knowledge-sharing surrounding topics of mutual interest, officials said.

Philip Reeker, the general’s civilian deputy, conducted the first day of meetings,  among 30 U. S. ambassadors to European countries and State Department leaders to focus on strategic goals and communication and on economic and management issues with partners and allies.

Eucom subject matter experts joined the ambassadors on the second day to continue the dialogue with panel discussions on topics including Russian deterrence, crisis response, military mobility strategy and challenges in the eastern Mediterranean.

“Coming together in one location is a great way to facilitate the discussion of how we are working together on the same goals; much the same way we must merge State and Defense strategic initiatives to tackle our missions and goals,” Reeker said.

Exchanging Ideas and Viewpoints

Reeker emphasized the importance of the exchange of ideas and viewpoints. “In Europe’s constantly evolving and multifaceted security environment, it is more important than ever to ensure that State and Defense are working from the same policy guidance and that our respective resources are coordinated to produce maximum effect.”

 Following the ambassadors’ meetings, Scaparrotti led a third day with European chiefs of defense, where the discussion focused on better understanding and addressing the threats associated with countering violent extremist organizations. He emphasized the need for ready and postured forces, one of four priorities in which Eucom is focused.

“In order to address the challenges and threats to U.S. interests in Europe and to further strengthen the unity of our alliance and partnerships,” Scaparrotti said, “our interagency needs to be appropriately postured and synchronized in both planning and execution.”

Panel discussions were held to bring subject matter experts together to share insights and best practices.

Scaparrotti stressed Eucom’s commitment to supporting a whole-of-government approach to addressing threats across the theater.

“No nation stands alone facing the threat of terrorism, and that includes the United States,” the general said. “It’s clear that violent extremists are active in the European theater, not just along Europe’s periphery. Together, we will ensure that Europe remains whole, free and at peace.”