The US Department of Defense’s (DoD) fiscal year 2018 budget request for the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) has increased to approximately $4.8bn.
The ERI funding for 2018 shows a growth of $1.4bn over the $3.4bn budget requested in the fiscal year 2017.
As stated by the US European Command (EUCOM) Strategy, Plans and Policy director major general David W. Allvin, the increase in the budget request is aimed at improving deterrence and defence, along with enhancing the readiness of forces in Europe.
The increase in funding will support the deterrence of future Russian aggression through enhanced joint air, sea and land force responsiveness and expanded interoperability with combined multinational forces.
Allvin said: “This is one of our nation's commitments to Europe, and it demonstrates our strong dedication to the trans-Atlantic bond and the defence of our allies.”
Partly funded by ERI, Operation Atlantic Resolve demonstrates to Nato allies and the world that the US aims to fulfill its treaty commitments to respond to threats against allies.
Eucom commander army general Curtis M. Scaparrotti said: “ERI funding increases our joint capabilities to deter and defend against Russian aggression.
“These significant investments will further galvanise US support to the collective defence of our Nato allies and bolster the security and capacity of our US partners.”
The ERI 2018 budget funds $1.7bn to enhance US military rotational presence throughout the theatre that can deter and, if required, respond to any regional threats.
It has also funded $218m to increase exercises and training to enhance overall readiness and interoperability with US allies and partners, and $2.2bn funding has been allocated for improving strategic placement of equipment throughout the theatre.
While another $338m is funded to improve infrastructure, $267m has been allocated to strengthen allies and partners, helping them to defend themselves and enable their full participation with US operational forces.
The 2018 budget request also involves $150m in funding to continue train, equip and advise efforts to develop Ukraine’s capacity to conduct internal defence operations.
This will help the country defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as support institutional transformation efforts.
Image: Romanian Army and US Army officers track a counterattack in a simulated fight against a conventional force. Photo: courtesy of Army photo by Capt. Scott Walter.