United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

America's Continued Commitment to

European Security Operation Atlantic Resolve

The United States is demonstrating its continued commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine.

Current Trip

June 2015

Map of Carter's Trip
  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter will travel to Germany, Estonia, and Belgium June 21 - 26 for a series of bilateral and multilateral meetings with European defense ministers and to participate in his first NATO Ministerial as secretary of defense.
  • In this important month for the alliance, Carter will hear directly from ministers, defense leaders, and service members about the progress we have made since the Wales Summit to address the new security environment, including the challenges from Russia and NATO’s southern front, and discuss what we must do in the future to enhance the effectiveness of the alliance. More

Carter Praises U.S. Troops in Germany for Deterring Aggression

Defense Secretary Ash Carter thanked U.S. troops stationed at Grafenwoehr, Germany, and told them their presence is important to the way of life that people in America and in Europe enjoy. Story

Carter: NATO Unites Around New Security Playbook

NATO allies are growing more united despite Russian aggression in Europe, and the alliance has a new approach to meeting security challenges to the east and south, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in Brussels. Story

Secretary, Dutch Defense Minister Discuss NATO Task Force

Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with Netherlands Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert at the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels to discuss the U.S.-Dutch defense partnership, according to a DoD news release. Story

Carter, Norwegian Defense Minister Discuss Security Issues

Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with Norwegian Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Søreide at the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels to discuss the U.S.-Norway defense partnership, according to a DoD news release. Story

Carter Meets With Ukraine’s Defense Minister

Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with Ukraine Defense Minister Colonel-General Stepan Poltorak at the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels, according to a Defense Department news release. Story

Carter Thanks Defense Minister for Italy's Leadership

Defense Secretary Ash Carter today discussed the U.S.-Italian defense partnership, Libya and European security in his first meeting with Italy’s defense minister. Story

Carter Discusses Baltic Sea Exercise, Praises U.S. Troops

The annual Baltic Operations exercise demonstrates the United States’ commitment to defend the alliance in light of recent Russian actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told service members aboard the USS San Antonio in Estonia. Story

Secretary Reviews Collaboration With Canadian Counterpart

Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Canadian Defense Minister Jason Kenney reviewed the ongoing collaboration between the United States and Canada in the operations to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq and Syria, Defense Department officials said. Story

Carter Salutes Estonia for NATO Contributions

Defense Secretary Ash Carter expressed the United States' gratitude to Estonia for its contributions to NATO during his visit to the Baltic nation's capital on its Victory Day. Story

Carter Meets With Estonia’s President, Prime Minister

Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas in separate meetings in Tallinn, Estonia, according to a Defense Department news release. Story

Carter: NATO's Unity 'Critical' for Future Challenges

NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force has the speed to respond to future crises such as those involving hybrid warfare, space and cyber activities that can evolve and unfold in Europe, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters in Munster, Germany. Story

Carter Praises Germany's Security Role, NATO Unity During Berlin Speech

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter discussed what he called the bright future of U.S.-German partnership and the importance of NATO unity to the European security environment during remarks at the Allianz Forum in Berlin. Story

Carter Arrives in Europe to Discuss Russia, Southern Threats

The challenges to NATO from Russia and on the alliance’s southern flank will be the focus of Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s trip to the continent.Story

Carter to Emphasize European Security, NATO Unity During Trip

Defense Secretary Ash Carter intends to meet with European defense ministers and participate in his first NATO ministerial as defense secretary during a trip to Germany, Estonia and Belgium. Story

Baltic Defense Exercise Showcases Interoperability

The U.S. has joined 16 other NATO and partner nations in a Baltic regional maritime exercise demonstrating various integrated military capabilities, a Defense Department spokesman said. Story

Work, Swedish Defense Minister Discuss NATO, Military Cooperation

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work discussed ways to deepen military-to-military cooperation, NATO partnership initiatives, regional security and other defense priorities with Sweden's Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist at the Pentagon, according to a DoD news release. Story

Carter, Polish Defense Minister Discuss Security Issues

Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Polish Minister of Defense Tomasz Siemoniak discussed critical security issues including Russia-Ukraine, U.S. and NATO activities in Poland, and U.S.-Polish defense cooperation. Story

U.S. Soldiers, Airmen Train With Latvian Service Members

U.S. and Latvian troops conducted airborne training in Latvia while supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve, which focuses on joint training and security cooperation between the U.S. and NATO allies. Story

DoD to Restructure U.S. Aviation Brigade in Germany

The Defense Department will restructure the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade and subordinate units in Germany as part of the Army's Aviation Restructuring Initiative in Europe. Story

U.S., Poland to Conduct Patriot Missile Exercise, Pentagon Official Announces

U.S. and Polish forces plan to conduct an exercise later this month involving a U.S. Patriot missile battery and Poland's 3rd Warsaw Air Defense Missile Brigade, a Pentagon spokesman announced. Story

Aircraft Deploy to Europe to Boost Interoperability With Allies

The Air Force has deployed aircraft to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, as part of a theater security package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, U.S. European Command officials announced. Story

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Estonia Latvia Lithuania Russia Poland Germany Czech Republic Austria Slovakia Romania Bulgaria Moldova Ukraine Hungary Greece Turkey Macedonia Serbia Bosnia Montenegro Croatia Albania Slovania Switzerland Italy Belarus Finland Sweden Norway Denmark Netherlands Belgium United Kingdom Ireland France Spain Portugal Morocco Algeria Tunisia Libya Egypt Israel Russia Recent U.S. Military Events In Europe

Exercise Platinum Eagle 14

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Shawn Hynes of Black Sea Rotational Force 14 from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, shows Armenian soldiers on how to properly handle an M27 IAR service rifle during exercise Platinum Eagle at Badabag Training Area, Romania, April 29, 2014.

Romania: U.S. Marines conducted a two-part multilateral exercise with their counterparts from Romania, Bulgaria, Armenia, and Macedonia to build partner nation capacity, reinforce relationships in a joint training environment and increase interoperability of allied/partner forces.

Exercise Combined Resolve IV

U.S. Soldiers with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division conduct urban assault training with Albanian infantrymen during exercise Combined Resolve II at the Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, May 17, 2014.

Germany: U.S. Army Europe-led multinational exercise at Joint Multinational Training Command's Hohenfels and Grafenwoehr Training Areas.

Exercise Saber Strike

Lithuanian soldiers engage the enemy during a movement to contact as part of Exercise Saber Strike in Adazi, Latvia, June 12, 2013.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia: Long-standing, multilateral, multifaceted U.S. Army Europe-led security cooperation exercise primarily focused on improving the cooperation and capabilities of participating nations for future contingency operations.

Exercise Saber Strike

Lithuanian soldiers engage the enemy during a movement to contact as part of Exercise Saber Strike in Adazi, Latvia, June 12, 2013.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia: Long-standing, multilateral, multifaceted, U.S Army Europe-led security cooperation exercise primarily focused on the three Baltic States.

Exercise Saber Strike

Lithuanian soldiers engage the enemy during a movement to contact as part of Exercise Saber Strike in Adazi, Latvia, June 12, 2013.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia: Long-standing, multilateral, multifaceted, U.S Army Europe-led security cooperation exercise primarily focused on the three Baltic States.

Exercise Summer Shield 14

U.S. Marines breach an obstacle on their way to an objective during a live-fire platoon attack aboard Camp Adazi, Latvia, April 9, 2014. The attack was part of Exercise Summer Shield 14, a combined staff planning exercise and combined arms live-fire maneuver event. The Marine are assigned to Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Black Sea Rotational Force 14.

Latvia: U.S. Marines trained as part of the Black Sea Rotational Force with Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Exercise Summer Shield 14 was a combined staff planning exercise and combined arms live-fire maneuver event.

USS Donald Cook

USS Donald Cook (U.S. Navy file photo)

Conducted operations in the Black Sea from April 10-24, 2014, to reassure our allies of the U.S. commitment to the region. This included conducting a port visit in Constanta, Romania, and exercises at sea with the Romanian navy and the USS Taylor, to improve interoperability, increase readiness and enhance relationships in the region.

U.S./Ukraine Bilateral Defense Consultations

Ukraine: Senior DoD leaders regularly meet with their Ukrainian counterparts for substantive discussions on regional security, defense cooperation, and areas for growth in the U.S.-Ukraine defense relationship.

USAF Aviation Detachment Rotation

The 10 Airmen assigned to the Aviation Detatchment on Lask Air Base, Poland, mark the first enduring presence of U.S. military members on Polish soil.

Poland: Three C-130s and 100 airmen trained with Polish airmen at Lask Air Base, Poland for the regularly scheduled aviation detachment rotation.

Requests for Military Assistance

The United States has obligated or notified $52 million in security assistance for Ukraine.

Ukraine: The United States has obligated or notified $52 million in security assistance for Ukraine. In addition to 300,000 meals-ready-to-eat delivered in March, the United States is providing foreign military financing to support Ukraine's armed forces with medical supplies, service member equipment, explosive ordinance disposal equipment and handheld radios. The United States has also allocated cooperative threat reduction funding to support Ukraine's state border guard service with supplies for use in monitoring and securing its borders.

The United States has also allocated cooperative threat reduction funding to support Ukraine's state border guard service with supplies for use in monitoring and securing its borders.

Reforming Defense Institutions

Ukraine: Defense Department strategy and policy experts continue to meet with Ukrainian defense officials in Kyiv to assess specific defense institution building activities and programs. The objective is to shape and establish an enduring program for future U.S. efforts to support the Ukrainian military through subject-matter expert teams and long-term advisors.

Train and Equip Ukraine's National Guard

Ukraine: The Defense and State departments notified the U.S. Congress of the intent to use $19 million in Global Security Contingency Fund authority to train and equip four companies and one tactical headquarters of the Ukrainian national guard as part of efforts to build Ukranian capacity for internal defense. Ukraine's national guard continues to play a direct role in responding to the current crisis, as well as in ensuring Ukraine's internal security. Pending congressional approval, training is anticipated to begin in this year and would take place at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Yavoriv, Ukraine.

USAF Aviation Detachment Augmentation

An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft takes off from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Dec. 4, 2013. The U.S. military sent 12 F-16 fighter jets and about 300 service members to their Poland in response to the situation in Ukraine.

Poland: The United States deployed F-16s and personnel to Lask Air Base, Poland, to augment the U.S. Air Force aviation detachment training rotation. The deployment is focused on training and interoperability with the Polish air force.

Air-to-Air Refueling Missions in Support of NATO

A KC-135 Stratotanker deployed with the 313th Air Expeditionary Wing in the European theater of operations prepares to refuel a C-17 over the Atlantic Ocean on Oct. 29, 2011.

United Kingdom: The United States agreed to fly refueling missions to support NATO airborne early warning aircraft flights over Eastern Europe. The mission began March 16, 2014, and 66 sorties were conducted as of May 30.

NATO Baltic Air Policing

NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission currently consists of four U.S. Air Force F-15s, which were beefed up by an additional six fighters after the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine.

Lithuania, Poland, Estonia: The United States deployed an additional six F-15C Eagles on March 6, 2014, to augment the four F-15Cs already in Lithuania filling a NATO peacetime requirement to have quick-reaction interceptor aircraft ramp-ready for a four-month period. The U.S. rotation began in January. Poland took over the Baltic Air Policing task May 1 with augmentation from the United Kingdom, Denmark and France. Polish and British aircraft will operate from Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania, Danish aircraft from Amari Air Base in Estonia, and French aircraft from Malbork Air Base in Poland.

NATO Baltic Air Policing

NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission currently consists of four U.S. Air Force F-15s, which were beefed up by an additional six fighters after the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine.

Lithuania, Poland, Estonia: The United States deployed an additional six F-15Cs to augment the four F-15Cs already in Lithuania filling a NATO peacetime requirement to have quick-reaction interceptor aircraft ramp-ready for a four-month period, March 6, 2014. The U.S. rotation began in January. Poland took over the Baltic Air Policing task, May 1, with augmentation from the United Kingdom, Denmark and France. Polish and British aircraft will operate from Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania, Danish aircraft from Amari Air Base in Estonia, and French aircraft from Malbork Air Base in Poland.

NATO Baltic Air Policing

NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission currently consists of four U.S. Air Force F-15s, which were beefed up by an additional six fighters after the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine.

Lithuania, Poland, Estonia: The United States deployed an additional six F-15Cs to augment the four F-15Cs already in Lithuania filling a NATO peacetime requirement to have quick-reaction interceptor aircraft ramp-ready for a four-month period, March 6, 2014. The U.S. rotation began in January. Poland took over the Baltic Air Policing task, May 1, with augmentation from the United Kingdom, Denmark and France. Polish and British aircraft will operate from Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania, Danish aircraft from Amari Air Base in Estonia, and French aircraft from Malbork Air Base in Poland.

173rd Airborne Brigade Bilateral Training

Maj. Gen. Richard C. Longo, Deputy Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe, speaks to U.S. and Estonian Soldiers during a ceremony commemorating new land forces exercises in Estonia, April 28, 2014.

Approximately 150 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne's 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment landed in Estonia April 28, 2014, to conduct an unscheduled bilateral exercise with Estonian troops. U.S. troops are expected to remain on a rotational basis at Paldiski Barracks outside Tallinn through the end of the year.

173rd Airborne Brigade Bilateral Training

Paratroopers from U.S. Army Europe's 173rd Airborne Brigade, arrive on Swidwin Air Base, Poland, April 23, 2014, to begin a training rotation with the Polish army's 6th Airborne Brigade, one of the brigade's sister units.

Poland: About 150 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team landed in Swidwin, Poland, April 23, 2014, to conduct an unscheduled training exercise at the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area alongside the Polish 6th Airborne Brigade. The training was focused on airborne operations and infantry tactics and techniques.

173rd Airborne Jumps With Canadian Paratroopers Near Krakow

U.S. soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade's 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment jumped alongside Canadian paratroopers from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Battalion, May 5, 2014, in Bledowska, Poland. They were joined on the ground by Polish paratroopers for training May 6-9 at the Zagan Training Area in Poland.

173rd Airborne Brigade Bilateral Training

U.S. paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade and their allies in the Lithuanian Mechanized Infantry Brigade mark the opening of Exercise Black Arrow 2014 with a ceremony in Rukla, Lithuania, May 14, 2014.

Lithuania: Approximately 150 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade's 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment landed in Lithuania, April 26, 2014, to conduct an unscheduled bilateral exercise with Lithuanian troops. U.S. troops remained on a rotational basis at Rukla Training Area through the end of the year.

173rd Airborne Brigade Participates With Lithuanian Troops in Exercise Black Arrow

Paratroopers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment are participating with Lithuania's Iron Wolf mechanized brigade in Exercise Black Arrow, May 12-25, 2014. The exercise will include multiple airborne operations.

173rd Airborne Brigade Bilateral Training

Paratroopers from U.S. Army Europe's 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) and Latvian soldiers stand in formation during a ceremony commemorating new exercises in Riga, Latvia, April 24, 2014.

Latvia: About 150 U.S. soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade's 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment landed in Latvia, April 24, 2014, to conduct an unscheduled bilateral exercise with Latvian troops. U.S. troops remained on a rotational basis at Adazi Training Area through the end of the year.

Exercise Spring Storm

U.S. and Estonian Special Operation Forces stand in formation during the opening ceremony of Exercise Spring Storm 2014 in Amari, Estonia, May 6, 2014. Spring Storm is an annual training event and has evolved into the largest field training exercise in the Baltic States.

Estonia: Exercise Spring Storm is an annual training event that has evolved into the largest field training exercise in the Baltic states. In May 2014, about 6,000 troops participated in the exercise, which involved service members from Estonia, Belgium, United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Lithuania, Poland, the United States, and Latvia.

Exercise Namejs

Latvian military prepared for biggest exercises in country's history.

Bilateral exercise focused on a variety of military-to-military training that included special operations elements.

Exercise Flaming Sword 14

Servicemembers participate in Flaming Sword 12

Lithuania: About 140 U.S. Special Operations Command Europe personnel and seven European partners (Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden) participated in a multinational exercise in May 2014 to enhance interoperability in the Baltic region and amongst allied special operations forces.

Exercise Flaming Sword 14

Servicemembers participate in Flaming Sword 12

Approximately 140 U.S. Special Operations Command Europe units and seven European partners (Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden) will participate in a multinational exercise to enhance Baltic region and allied special operations forces interoperability from May 18-30, 2014.

Operation Dragoon Ride

Europe: The U.S. Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment Operation Atlantic Resolve training rotation concluded with a capstone event named Operation Dragoon Ride -- an 1,800-kilometer road march that crossed five allied borders between Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany and tested the regiment’s leadership and sustainment capabilities. The exercise demonstrated the freedom of movement that exists within NATO, afforded U.S. soldiers an opportunity to engage with community members along the route, and reinforced U.S. commitment to its NATO partners.

Cavalry Ride

Eastern Europe: Approximately 550 U.S. soldiers and 75 Stryker vehicles from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment trained with allies in Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. Training events focused on individual and team tasks that culminated in joint platoon level-events, such as live fires. This was the first Stryker unit and the second brigade-sized element from U.S. Army Europe to deploy to the Baltic nations and Poland in support of the operation.

Exercise Hedgehog

Approximately 66 Airmen and 4 A-10s from the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron deployed to Amari Air Base, Estonia, at the invitation of the Estonian Defense Forces. The 354th FS trained with the Estonian air forces to improve interoperability in allied air operations and train multi-national Close Air Support operations in support of ground combat forces. Also, 150 Army Soldiers from the 173rd IBCT and one tank platoon from the 2nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division participated in the exercise.

BALTOPS 15

Baltics: Seventeen NATO and partner nations are participating in the 43rd iteration of the multinational maritime exercise BALTOPS 2015 in Poland, Sweden, Germany and the Baltic Sea, June 5-20, 2015. About 5,600 ground, maritime, and air forces from participating nations are demonstrating air defense, maritime interdiction, anti-subsurface warfare, and amphibious operations in a joint environment to ensure regional security. BALTOPS is an annual exercise designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability and demonstrate the resolve of allied and partner forces to defend the Baltic region. Participating nations include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, United Sates, and the United Kingdom.

Theater Security Package, Netherlands & Bulgaria

Netherlands and Bulgaria: Twelve F-15C Eagles from the 125th Fighter Wing, Florida Air National Guard, Jacksonville, Fla., deployed to Leeuwarden, Netherlands, and Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, to conduct training alongside NATO allies.

Theater Security Package, Bulgaria

Twelve U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft and approximately 200 airmen from the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron forward deployed as part of the first-ever theater security package to Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria. The unit conducted training alongside NATO allies to strengthen interoperability.

LEGEND - Green pin: Army; Silver pin: Navy; Blue pin: Air Force

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Marines Launch Exercise Platinum Lion

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About the Secretary

Profile photo of Defense Secretary Ash Carter Ash Carter is the 25th secretary of defense. He previously served as deputy defense secretary and as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Carter has received the Defense Department's Distinguished Service Medal five times and the Defense Intelligence Medal. Biography


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