Unified Combatant Command Spotlight: EUCOM | September 7, 2011
The United States European Command (EUCOM) is one of ten Unified Combatant Commands of the United States military, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. Its area of focus covers 21,000,000 square miles (54,000,000 km2) and 51 countries and territories, including Europe, Russia, Iceland, Greenland, and Israel. The Commander of EUCOM simultaneously serves as the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) within NATO. The current Commander of EUCOM is Admiral James G. Stavridis.
With national and international partners, U.S. European Command’s primary purpose to conduct military operations, international military partnering, and interagency partnering to enhance transatlantic security and defend the United States forward.
In early 1951, NATO established Allied Command Europe and the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). General Dwight D. Eisenhower was called from retirement to become the first Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). The United States sent massive reinforcements to Europe designed to deter the Soviet Union. The EUCOM was formed shortly in 1952.
During the Cold War and the Kosovo War, EUCOM was the lead command for potential operations. During the Gulf War and Operation Northern Watch, EUCOM controlled the forces flying from Incirlik Air Base.
EUCOM was established on 1 August 1952, to provide "unified command and authority" over all United States forces in Europe.
America's rapid post-war demobilization, followed by the end of the occupation of Germany in 1949, led many to question the United States' commitment to defend Western Europe against the spread of communism. Western nations questioned how they could provide for the common defense and simultaneously questioned America's role in such defense. In 1948–1949, the Berlin Blockade motivated Western Europe and the United States to create a military alliance. In 1949, the allies established the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
From 1950 to 1953 United States military personnel in Europe grew from 120,000 to over 400,000.
EUCOM and its components continued to provide military assistance throughout Europe, as well as humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, noncombatant evacuation, support to peacekeeping operations, and other non-traditional missions in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. For example, after the Congo became independent in 1960, EUCOM joined in several multinational operations in that country, including peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and noncombatant evacuation in 1960, 1964, 1967 and again in 1978. In the Middle East, EUCOM provided military assistance to Israel as well as noncombatant evacuation of American citizens in 1967, 1973, and 1982–1984.
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) is one of ten Unified Combatant Commands of the United States Armed Forces. It is responsible for U.S. military operations and military relations with 53 African nations - an area of responsibility covering all of Africa, with the exception of Egypt.
AFRICOM, in concert with other U.S. government agencies and international partners, conducts sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy.
U.S. Africa Command supports American national security interests by conducting a wide range of programs and activities that help African states—at their request—meet their goals of building capable and professional militaries that are subordinate to civilian authority, respect human rights, and adhere to the rule of law.
Headquartered at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany, the territory of the command consists of all of the African continent except for Egypt, which remains under the direct responsibility of USCENTCOM, as it closely relates to the Middle East. USAFRICOM also covers island countries commonly associated with Africa;
2006 – Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld forms planning team to advise on requirements for establishing a new Unified Command for the African continent. A recommendation of their findings are sent to President George W. Bush.
6 February 2007 - President George W. Bush gives authority to create the new African Command and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Robert Moeller, the director of the AFRICOM transition team, arrived in Stuttgart Germany to begin creating the logistical framework for the command.
28 September 2007 - the U.S. Senate confirmed General William E. "Kip" Ward as AFRICOM's first commander and AFRICOM officially became operational as a sub-unified command of EUCOM with a separate headquarters.
1 October 2008 - the command separated from USEUCOM and began operating on its own as a full-fledged combatant command.
To bring U.S. military activities in Africa, which have previously been divided among three existing commands (European Command, Central Command, and Pacific Command), under a single one.
AFRICOM was created to counter the growing presence of China in Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, to secure long-term economic agreements for raw materials from Africa in exchange for Chinese aid and production sharing agreements and royalties.