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Exercise Strengthens Humanitarian Response, Combat Readiness

Following 11 days of unabated multilateral training, military forces from Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and the U.S. operated side-by-side during the final exercise of Platinum Lion at the Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria. Story

USS Vella Gulf Visits Batumi, Georgia

The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) completed a two-day port visit to Batumi, Georgia, Aug. 20, 2014. Story

173rd Airborne Paratroopers Never Tire

Despite all the planning, double checking and potential hazards associated with airborne operations, jumping out of a C-130 aircraft never loses its charm for paratroopers with 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade. Story

Airmen Train With Bulgarian Counterparts

More than 180 Airmen from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, and 12 F-15C Eagles flew to Graf Ignatievo Air Base, near Plovdiv, Bulgaria, to participate in a bilateral training event, Thracian Eagle 2014. Story

RAF Lakenheath F-15s Take off for Bulgaria

F-15 Eagle fighter jets assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing taxi the runway Aug. 15, 2014. Story

Saving Lives One Pilot at a Time

Pilots have an important job in the Air Force, they fly aircraft to deliver goods, fight off unwanted adversaries and provide assistance where needed essentially keeping people safe. Story

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Exercise Platinum Lynx 14-5

U.S. Marine Capt. Bryan Phillips, the executive officer of Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment with Black Sea Rotational Force 14, shakes hands with Romanian Maj. Chirap Vasile during the closing ceremony for Exercise Platinum Lynx in Vatra Dornei, Romania, May 16, 2014.

Romania: Approximately 75 U.S. Marines conducted squad- to infantry-level training events designed to help familiarity and interoperability between the United States and Romania.

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.

USS Taylor

USS Taylor (U.S. Navy file photo)

Conducted operations in the Black Sea from April 22 - May 12, 2014, to show our allies the U.S. commitment to the region. Highlights included conducting a passing exercise with the Turkish navy, a port visit in Batumi, Georgia, and bi-lateral training with the Georgian coast guard.

Exercise Combined Resolve II

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, multi-national exercise on the 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 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 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

Senior DoD leaders met with their Ukrainian counterparts in April and June 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 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.

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

Exercise Saber Guardian 14

Bulgarian Land Forces soldiers stand in formation during the opening ceremony of Saber Guardian 2014 at the Novo Selo Training Range in Bulgaria March 21, 2014.

Bulgaria: U.S. Army Europe and Bulgarian Land Forces-led combined Joint Task Force and brigade command post/computer-assisted exercise designed to strengthen international agency and military partnering, foster trust and improve interoperability between NATO and partner nations involved.

Reforming Defense Institutions

Defense Department strategy and policy experts continue to meet with Ukrainian defense officials in Kyiv, to assess specific defense institution building activities/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

The Defense and State departments have 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 their efforts to build their capacity for internal defense. Ukraine's national guard continues to play a direct role in responding to the current crisis, as well as ensuring Ukraine's internal security. Pending congressional approval, training is anticipated to begin in 2015, 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.

USS Truxtun

USS Truxtun (U.S. Navy file photo)

Black Sea (Turkish Straights): USS Truxtun entered the Black Sea March 7, 2014, through the Turkish Straits to conduct port calls in Constanta, Romania, and conduct a passing exercise with Romanian and Bulgarian naval forces. She extended her stay in the Black Sea to conduct a port visit in Varna, Bulgaria, hold an onboard maritime planning conference with Bulgarian and Romanian officers, and conduct a second PASSEX. The ship departed the Black Sea March 21.

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. This mission, which began March 16, 2014, conducted 66 missions, 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-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.

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.

Approximately 150 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne landed in Swidwin, Poland, April 23, 2014, to conduct an unscheduled training exercise at the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area with their allies in the Polish 6th Airborne Brigade. The training is focused on airborne operations and infantry tactics and techniques.

173rd Airborne Jumps With Canadian Paratroopers Near Krakow

Paratroopers 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.

Approximately 150 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade's 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment landed in Latvia April 26, 2014, to conduct an unscheduled bilateral exercise with Lithuanian troops. U.S. troops are expected to remain 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.

Approximately 150 paratroopers 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 are expected to remain 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.

The Estonia-based exercise is an annual training event, which has evolved into the largest field training exercise in the Baltic states. 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 from May 14-23, 2014.

Exercise Namejs

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

Approximately 40 U.S. Special Operations forces are participating in the Latvia-based bilateral exercise focusing on a variety of military to military training that will include special operations elements. The exercise, which began May 19, 2014, will end May 25.

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.

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.

USS Vella Gulf

USS Vella Gulf (U.S. Navy file photo)

The USS Vella Gulf entered the Black Sea May 23, 2014, to conduct operations to promote peace and stability in the region. Highlights to date include a passing exercise with the Turkish navy, a port visit in Batumi, Georgia, and combined maritime training with Allied naval forces.

Exercise Carpathian Spring

A C-130J Super Hercules taxis on the runway carrying airmen to Romania to participate in Exercise Carpathian Spring, April 14, 2013. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Haux

Romania: The 37th Airlift Squadron joined the Romanian Air Force in a bilateral training exercise, May 8-22, 2014. With three C-130Js from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, the squadron enhanced interoperability with the Romanian Air Force and improved its collective readiness to conduct combined air operations.

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