Conference of European Armies

Monday September 19, 2011

What is it?

The Conference of European Armies (CEA) brings together land forces commanders (equivalent to the U.S. Army chief of staff) from the U.S., Canada and more than 40 European nations for three days of formal and informal meetings that encourage frank discussions on current and future operations. Leading civilian and military authorities serve as speakers and moderators.

Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) commanding general, and Lt. Gen. Giuseppe Valotto, Italian Army chief of staff, will co-host this year's event in Venice, Italy, in late September. This year's theme is "Operations as a Catalyst for Change."

What has the Army done?

Since 1998, the CEA has provided a venue for the Chief of Staff of the Army to engage in multilateral and bilateral dialogue with his counterparts from European partner and allied nations. Continually expanding interest from U.S. and European leadership has made the conference the USAREUR commander's premier general officer-level theater security cooperation event. In addition, participants represent 83 percent of the International Security Assistance Force's troop contributing nations.

What efforts does the Army have planned?

The annual conference will provide the Army with continual direct engagement with senior European military leadership to ensure a current understanding of partner nations' views and the issues facing land force commanders. The CEA will allow those leaders to discuss lessons learned in bilateral and multinational operations and apply those lessons to individual and shared doctrine, training and force structure. It will also give them a common understanding of the effects of current operations and how relationships and cooperation between and among land forces sustains individual and shared capacity in current and future efforts. Many of the nations participating in CEA also take part in training events at USAREUR's state-of-the-art Joint Multinational Training Command, and the conference helps to further those training relationships, which in turn increase interoperability, survivability and shared success on the battlefield.

Why is this important to the Army?

The CEA permits an open, fresh exchange of information and ideas and fosters relationships among European and North American ground forces commanders. These relationships contribute to the understanding, interoperability, security cooperation and stability that have demonstrated their value in many successful combined operations in the European theater and deployed environments. They pay invaluable dividends for operations today and continued close relations in the future.

Resources:

U.S. Army Europe
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Senior Leaders are Saying

"We will never give up the search for those who are held as prisoners of war or have gone missing under our country's flag. We honor their sacrifice, and we must care for their families and pursue the fullest possible accounting for all missing members of our Armed Forces … This is a promise we keep for our fallen, for our veterans past and present, and for all those whose loved ones have not returned from the battlefield."

- President Barack Obama, in his proclamation marking Sept. 16, 2011, as a National POW/MIA Recognition Day observance

Presidential Proclamation - National POW/MIA Recognition Day, 2011
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What They're Saying

"Rabies is 100 percent fatal if the right post-exposure treatment is not given promptly and the vaccine series is not completed ... As deployed military members, adopting, caring for or feeding wild animals is strictly prohibited."

-Maj. Alisa R. Wilma, Areas Support Group-Kuwait, command veterinarian, emphasizing the importance for troops to stay away from and report any wild animals to their chain of command, and seek immediate medical attention from medical personnel for any bites or scratches.

Third Army stresses importance of rabies prevention
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