WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 10, 2014) -- In an increasingly complex world, the Army is looking to strengthen bonds with its international partners, and jointly tackle issues to seek peace and stability around the world, said the chief of staff of the Army.

Despite shrinking federal budgets, the U.S. military will continue to be strong, and the Army will remain "robust with capability to conduct and help and train and, if necessary, conduct operations around the world," Gen. Ray Odierno said at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Thursday.

Odierno spoke at a reception he hosted for foreign military attachés. The event was a great way, he said, to interact with the foreign officials and strengthen relationships.

"I really do want to thank you. It's an honor to see all of you here," he said. "I know you're such great representatives of your own counties. We're truly grateful for your service and your willingness to serve here in Washington."

The relationships between the Army and its foreign counterparts are key in today's global environment, he stressed.

"In my nearly 38 years of service, I would say that today is probably the most uncertain I have ever known it around the world," Odierno told the 100 attachés representing more than 70 countries.

The cooperation is critical in solving global problems, bringing about a better life for all citizens, and addressing difficult issues that nations face, he said.

"As Soldiers, we understand more than anyone the costs of war. We witness it and we understand that this is an incredible cost to pay," he said. "Our job together, working together, is to create stability and peace and to prevent conflict around the world."

The Army has the best trained Soldiers who are able to assist and help others anywhere in the world, he said.

"We will continue to maintain our ability to be globally responsive and to engage regionally in order to assist nations and sustain stability," he said.

While the U.S. military strategy is a re-balance to the Asia-Pacific region, the Army will still have "significant operations" with NATO partners and other allies in Europe, and will continue to have a presence in all regions of the world, he said.

"As we welcome in the new year, I hope it is one that we will build stronger relationships with our friends, our allies and our partners around the world," he said.

Odierno's remarks were preceded by an introduction from Lt. Gen. Mary A. Legere, deputy chief of staff, G-2.

Legere said attachés have done important work in expanding cooperation and understanding between their nations and the United States, and contributing to peace and stability around the world.

As the Army transitions out of war, it is seeking to significantly expand relationships and global and regional partnerships, she said.

"This (reception) is the Army's way of saying 'thank you' for everything that you're doing for our Army here at the headquarters and for our Army commanders around the world," she said.

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