Media roundtable: USAREUR leaders address transformation, training, partnership issues
April 10, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany - Training, transformation and engaged partnerships were among the topics addressed during a media roundtable with U.S. Army Europe leaders at Wiesbaden's Strong Teams Cafe March 25.
Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., USAREUR commander, and USAREUR Command Sgt. Maj. David S. Davenport Sr. fielded a host of questions from local U.S. and host nation media about everything from the impact of sequestration on transformation to concerns about flight noise around Wiesbaden's Clay Kaserne.
With the drawdown of forces in Afghanistan and continued efforts to streamline the presence of U.S. military in Europe -- reducing the force structure to 30,000 Soldiers in USAREUR by 2015 and seven enduring communities -- Campbell said the focus for USAREUR will be to take care of Soldiers and their families and to continue to work with European partners to adequately train for any future contingencies.
"I believe there's a tremendous amount of collaboration within the armies here in Europe. The cooperation is as good as at any time I've been in Europe," said Campbell, who served with the 8th Infantry Division in Bad Kreuznach, and the 4th Battalion, 69th Armor, in Mainz in the 1980s, and with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium, in the 1990s.
Cooperative efforts during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have played a vital role in enhancing partnerships, Campbell said, adding, "We are learning as much from our allies as I would like to think they are from us.
"We've learned how to deploy rapidly, be culturally aware, how to apply proper levels of force … and most importantly we've learned how to lead and train in some very diverse and difficult terrain and conditions," he said.
Communication, leadership and transparency are the tools USAREUR leaders are using to navigate the impact of budget issues brought on by sequestration, USAREUR's commander said. "We've had to look at training and a number of programs. We've had to prioritize how we use our money … we'll continue to live up to our obligations.
"We all have to look for more creative ways to do that," he said, adding that taking care of Soldiers and their families and meeting the high standards demanded while training will continue to be met. "Everybody has to play a part to make sure we can continue to train and take care of our Soldiers and their families."
USAREUR's senior noncommissioned officer talked about leadership development and partnership among allies throughout Europe -- "especially among our Soldiers serving together in combat. Our relationship continues to be strong. It's a tremendous partnership here."
Addressing questions about concerns by local citizens about flight noise due to an increased aviation presence in Wiesbaden, Campbell said, "We take very seriously the problems of noise. … I can assure you that we'll do our very best to follow all regulations and guidance."
USAREUR's leaders praised the reception received by Soldiers and families from the host nation community. "The reception of our German hosts has been wonderful," said Campbell. "The relationship continues to be very strong. … I see the relationship getting even stronger."