Planning a way forward

AFN Stuttgart
Story by Senior Airman Nick Emerick

Date: 05.21.2018
Posted: 05.30.2018 05:53
News ID: 278767

(STUTTGART, Germany) -- Members of U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) met with leaders of industry and commercial partners from across both continents during the Joint EUCOM/AFRICOM Deployment and Distribution Conference (JEADDC) May 21–23 at the Maritim Hotel in Stuttgart, Germany.

The conference saw more than 200 people in attendance to discuss the importance of logistics within the European and African theaters and to build a collective awareness of the strategic value the U.S. military sees in its relationship with commercial partners.

“The purpose of the conference was to bring together our military, government, and corporate partners from the global transportation industry focused on supporting USEUCOM and USAFRICOM,” said U.S. Army Col. Todd S. Bertulis, Deputy Director of Logistics, USEUCOM. “We brought people together to address our challenges, discuss the environments we operate in, and ultimately develop a relationship that is less contractual and more strategic.”

The JEADDC conference had four broad headlines: shared understanding, global distribution outlook, partnership optimization and service component viewpoints.

“The 2018 National Defense Strategy signed by Secretary of Defense James Mattis has realigned and focused the Department beyond the type of warfare we’ve executed during the past 15 years,” said Rear Adm. Paul J. Verrastro, director of logistics, U.S. European Command. “This new strategy emphasizes a fundamentally different set of challenges and highlights that the European security environment has changed significantly from four years ago.”

With evolving operations in both USEUCOM and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) areas of concern, and in Africa, the approach to deterrence, operations, exercises and events drive the importance of being able to move supplies to sustain readiness within Europe and Africa.

Verrastro believes from the EUCOM perspective, the ability to quickly respond and reassure allies and partners rests upon the fact that the U.S. is here in Europe, forward and ready to deter and engage adversaries of the U.S. and our allies and partners in Europe and Africa.

This was the first JEADDC since the conference stopped in 2011.

“USEUCOM sees our participation in multinational exercises enhancing our professional relationships and improves overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis,” Verrastro said. “As such, from operational moves, to the USEUCOM and NATO exercise campaign, the steady increase of rotating equipment and personnel demonstrates our refocus on deterrence and defense.”