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Quickly Moving Forces Across Borders Is Vital to Europe's Defense, Official Says

May 6, 2021 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

The National Security Strategy emphasizes the importance of working with allies and partners such as NATO. Part of that commitment is being able to move formations quickly across Europe, a Defense Department official said today.

Gregory M. Kausner, performing the duties of deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, spoke virtually to the European Defence Agency about movement and logistics.

A man speaks at a virtual meeting.
Gregory Kausner
Gregory Kausner, performing the duties of deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, speaks virtually from the Pentagon to the European Defence Agency, May 6, 2021.
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders, DOD
VIRIN: 210506-D-XI929-1001

The continuation of exercises involving multimodal movements of troops, equipment and transport elements from the U.S. and across Europe provides valuable logistical insights and highlights areas of cooperation with NATO nations, he said.

During these movements where speed is of the essence, the focus is on improved streamlining of border crossing procedures, he noted.

"Our ability to rapidly move forces ensures a credible deterrent in today's increasingly competitive environment," he said.

A missile is fired.
Rocket Launch
A U.S. Army M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System fires during a live fire exercise in support of Fires Shock, a series of fire exercises in support of exercise DEFENDER-Europe 21, May 5, 2021, at the Tapa Central Training Area of Estonia.
Photo By: Army Spc. Christian Cote
VIRIN: 210505-A-AB407-661
Jet flies over runway
Fighting Falcon
An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wing takes off from the runway as part of exercise Point Blank 21-02 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, April 9, 2021.
Photo By: Air Force Senior Airman Ali Stewart
VIRIN: 210408-F-FW957-1135C

Kausner also mentioned the importance of U.S. participation in the European Union's Permanent Structured Cooperation — dubbed PESCO — Military Mobility Project, which is strengthening NATO. PESCO is part of the European Union's security and defense policy, which includes most NATO nations. Easing military mobility across Europe is one of PESCO's aims.

"Mobility is an area that is not exclusive to one nation or one organization. It requires a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach, including thorough national plans with cross-government cooperation," he said.

The Russian buildup of troops on its western border is a growing concern. "We will closely monitor their activity. The United States will continue to consult with our partners while calling upon Russia to be transparent about its movements."

A helicopter flies over a port.
Aerial Apache
An AH-64E Apache helicopter assigned to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) flies into port in Rotterdam, Netherlands, March 17, 2021.
Photo By: Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Garrett L. Dipuma
VIRIN: 210317-Z-PJ019-1015

"The United States is committed to the security of our European allies and partners," he said, noting that the collective strength of the alliance has protected Europe since the end of World War II.

"The United States' commitment to the alliance is ironclad," Kausner added.