Chiefs of Defense from eight European countries, their senior enlisted leaders, and senior U.S. military leaders from U.S European Command (USEUCOM), met in Prague today to discuss strengthening military ties and opportunities to address the ongoing security challenges across the theater.
Hosted by Czech Republic Chief of Defense Gen. Aleš Opata and U. S. Commander U.S. European Command Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the two leaders emphasized the need to maintain momentum to deter Russian aggression and continued support to the NATO Alliance.
“These type of meetings enhance our mutual understanding and relationships as we strengthen our commitment to defense,” said Scaparrotti.
Discussions focused on the complexities of the European threat environment and cooperative solutions for allies and partners to maintain a secure Europe.
Leaders agreed that addressing threats cannot be done alone and the need for continued collaboration.
“We are more agile because of our shared information and common goals,” said Scaparrotti.
In addition to the presentations Scaparrotti took the opportunity to congratulate the Czech Republic on celebrating its 20th anniversary with NATO this month. Along with Poland and Hungary, the Czech Republic was the first former Eastern Bloc country to join NATO.
Senior enlisted leaders spoke about the importance of planning, advances in recruiting efforts, and education and training.
“Across our senior enlisted community we are making strides to improve interoperability and joint training development to support decision-making,” said U.S. Chief Master Sergeant Phil Easton, who has been identified to be the next USEUCOM command senior enlisted leader this summer.
Senior U.S. National Guard leaders representing State Partnership Programs from Alabama (Romania), Colorado (Slovenia), Illinois (Poland), Indiana (Slovakia), Nebraska (Czech Republic), Ohio (Hungary), Tennessee (Bulgaria), and Texas (Czech Republic), also participated discussing the benefits of joint exercises and integration to improve warfighting readiness.
Chiefs of Defense from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia participated in the conference.
Both Opata and Scaparrotti closed the meeting by offering their continued commitment to improving defense relationships and understanding of common threats for a stronger, more secure Europe.
U.S. European Command is one of two U.S. forward-deployed geographic combatant commands whose area of focus spans across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The command is comprised of more than 60,000 military and civilian personnel and is responsible for U.S. defense operations, relations with NATO and 51 countries. For more information about U.S. European Command, visit https://www.eucom.mil/.