Conference of European Armies

Thursday October 18, 2012

The Conference of the European Armies is an annual event that brings together land forces commanders (equivalent to the U.S. Army chief of staff) from U.S., Canada and more than 30 European countries for three days of formal and informal meetings that encourage open discussions and mutual understanding.

Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, U.S. Army Europe commanding general, is the host of this year's event in mid-October, which will be held for the first time in Wiesbaden, Germany, the new location for U.S. Army Europe's headquarters.

What has the Army done?

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 has made the conference the USAREUR commander's premier general officer-level theater security cooperation event.

What efforts does the Army have planned?

The theme of this year's conference is 'Building Capabilities for an Uncertain Future,' addressing how militaries will adjust their procurement and incorporate lessons learned in order to manage future threats while dealing with current fiscal considerations. This conference will provide the Army with continued direct engagement with senior European military commanders to give participants a common understanding on how European militaries can work together in order to deal with tomorrow's threats. Participants will hear from leading military and civilian speakers to drive and moderate frank conservation on moving forward without losing lessons learned from the past decade.

Why is this important?

CEA helps builds mutually beneficial professional and personnel relationships amongst senior leaders in the European theater. It allows participants to gain a common understanding through dialogue on specific topics, and to hear other countries' views on topics or issues of importance. Participants in the conference represent 83 percent of ISAF's troop contributing nations. It allows the Army to address how these relationships will be affected and need to be readjusted post-ISAF in order to sustain levels of cooperation to react to a future threat requiring similar or closer combined efforts.

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