By Capt. Michael Weisman, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs October 26, 2012
WIESBADEN, Germany -- Senior land force commanders from more 41 European nations, the U.S. and Canada came together here Oct. 16-18 for discussions on military partnerships and security cooperation.
The U.S. Army Europe-led Conference of European Armies met under the theme "Building Capabilities for an Uncertain Future," to address how military forces can adjust to new fiscal realities and incorporate lessons learned to confront future security threats. Participants at CEA represented 83 percent of the nations contributing military forces to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
USAREUR Commanding General Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling hosted the first CEA to be conducted in Wiesbaden, the new location for USAREUR's headquarters.
"This particular session, we're talking about the future -- post-ISAF," said Hertling. "The challenges of our various governments, emerging security threats and our requirement to develop a new capability to address those threats."
After a decade working together to counter threats in Afghanistan and Iraq, Hertling said future threats may come from criminal elements, cyberattacks, terrorists, human traffickers or transnational corruption.
"All of those things that might affect security of various countries are also things they have to be concerned about," the general said. "(These threats) need different types of training and a different type of preparation."
Speakers at the conference represented a variety of organizations, including ground force commanders, international nongovernmental organizations and government and foreign policy think tanks.
Since 1998, the CEA has provided a venue for creating shared training opportunities and establishing close personal relationships between commanders, contributing to regional and global understanding, peace and stability. Continual emphasis by U.S. leadership and expanding interest from European ground forces commanders have made the conference the USAREUR commander's premier general officer-level theater security cooperation event.