Friday, May 1, 2015

EUCOM Head: Consider Force Structure Increase

EUCOM Head: Consider Force Structure Increase: The Pentagon should weigh whether force structure in Europe should be grown, according to the department's top military officer on the continent.

Gen. Phillip Breedlove, the head of US European Command and the top military official at NATO, said a resurgent Russia requires a review of the military presence on the continent.

"The forces in Europe over the past twenty years have been sized for a situation where we were looking at Russia as a partner," Breedlove told reporters Thursday, "What we see now, of course, is Russia has demonstrated it is not a partner.

"So I think it is fair to say that we probably ought to look at that force structure and see if it's now adequate to the task that both AFRICOM and EUCOM place on it."

Asked about the force structure later in the briefing, Breedlove reasserted his statement.

"We have been trying to make a friend or partner with Russia for two decades, and now we realize that may not be where we are," he added. "So now I think it's appropriate to step back and ask ourselves the question, is our current structure correct?"

Breedlove said there are discussions ongoing on how to best shape the force structure at hand, particularly as it relates to rotational and pre-positioned forces in Europe.

Complicating the situation is the Budget Control Act, which Breedlove pointed to as the driving factor in the decision to remove a group of Army helicopters from Europe.