"The leadership of Afghanistan is committed to being an active partner in the global war on terror in the long term. The Afghan people and their nation's leaders are absolutely worthy of our trust, our confidence and our support. It is in the United States' national interest to gain and keep a partner and a friend who we can count on in this critical region of the world."-Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, commander of Combined Forces Command Afghanistan, said in congressional testimony Feb. 12.
Joint Task Force - East
What is it? Joint Task Force-East (JTF-East) is one of the Army's newest initiatives, focused on strengthening relationships and building new partners among Eastern European nations. Physically located in Romania and Bulgaria, the JTF-East concept envisions a permanent headquarters overseeing rotations of brigade-sized units. Using Romania and Bulgaria as a base of operations, the rotational brigade has the opportunity to train and interact with military forces throughout the entire 92 country U.S. European Command area of operations. U.S. Army, Europe is actively engaged in advancing JTF-East from concept to reality.
What has the Army Done? The JFT-East concept was proven in a series of exercises in Romania and Bulgaria. USAREUR is conducting final planning for a "proof of principle" rotation in the summer of 2007. During this rotation, a battalion task force from the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment will conduct four months of operations with Romanian and Bulgarian forces, conducting events in both countries. The JTF-East headquarters element, with U.S., Romanian and Bulgarian Soldiers, will exercise command and control of the events from Romania.
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? USAREUR continues its efforts to make JFT-East a reality. Construction of austere permanent facilities will begin in Romania in 2007 and in Bulgaria in 2008. The U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, and the host nations will contribute personnel to the headquarters, making JTF-East truly joint and combined. The brigades that rotate to JTF-East will operate and interact with fellow Soldiers from a variety of nations, throughout the Eastern part of the U.S. European Command area of responsibility.
Why is this important to the Army? JTF-East is a key component of the Army's International Activity Plan and the U.S. European Command Theater Security Cooperation strategy (TSC) which seeks to leverage military cooperation to strengthen relationships with allies and partners. JTF-East offers unprecedented opportunities to increase interoperability, build and sustain multinational partnerships and prepare for coalition operations.