European Reassurance Funds Aiding New Initiatives

The European Reassurance Initiative is making a demonstrable difference in US engagement with its Eastern European allies, and is funding a string of infrastructure projects across the eastern and southern periphery of the Alliance, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe USAF Gen. Philip Breedlove told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday. Funds from the nearly $1billion ERI are helping to aid US Army rotations in the Baltic States as well as supporting USAF fighter deployments to Campia Turzi, Romania, which recently saw A-10s deploy to train with Romanian forces as part of a theater security package to assist ongoing exercises. Dollars also are being spent on infrastructure projects, such as fixing railroad heads, refurbishing landing strips, and fixing cargo pads in order to allow US forces to “move quickly to join that partner if we had to,” Breedlove said. If one plotted the locations of these investments on a map, they would stretch to the south and to the east of Europe in some of the NATO Alliance’s newest members, like Romania, he noted. Though the projects are small, they are “demonstrative” of American commitments, and would make a difference in a scenario where US forces would have to rapidly reinforce allies, Breedlove added.