Wednesday, March 29, 2017

EUCOM Commander Calls for Larger Force to Deter Russia |

EUCOM Commander Calls for Larger Force to Deter Russia |

The commander of U.S military forces in Europe told lawmakers Tuesday that he needs a larger combat force, including an armored division and increased naval power, to deter Russian military forces on the continent.

"We need a greater force there, I think, potentially in the land component," said Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. European Command, testifying before the House Armed Service Committee.

The general said he needs the "enablers of an armored division -- a fires brigade, an engineer brigade, air defense -- those kinds of systems in the numbers that I need there."

Currently, the Army has one armored brigade combat team on a continuous rotation to Europe to bolster the Stryker and airborne infantry brigades stationed there permanently.

"I am suggesting an additional division because ... I need armored and mechanized brigades," Scaparrotti said.

"The reason a division is so important is at that level you can then have the command and control, communications capability to integrate the different domains in the way we fight. And that division brings the enablers like appropriate artillery, engineers, air defense, etc. that fill out a proper defense."

Scaparrotti said he could also use an "additional naval component on rotation through Europe to deter specifically with respect to anti-submarine warfare," an area Russia continues to modernize.