European Security and Cooperation in the 21st Century

The following are remarks made by Ambassador Susan M. Elliott to the American Chamber of Commerce on January 27 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Thank you Dr. Wegen for your warm introduction.  Thank you also to Mr. Fichtner, Mr. Lutz, and Mr. Povel for organizing and inviting me to tonight’s event.

I also would like to recognize my colleagues — U.S. Consul General James Herman who is here this evening from Frankfurt.  He is the leader of US Consulate General in Frankfurt which is the largest U.S. Consulate in the world.
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Keep Safe and Remain Vigilant During the Holiday Season

U.S. European Command officials notified servicemembers today to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings during the holiday season, aligning with a worldwide travel alert put out by the U.S. State Department Nov. 24.

Servicemembers, civilians, and family members are encouraged to be extra vigilant around areas of public transportation, such as train stations and airports, as well as celebrations that attract large crowds, such as Christmas markets or New Years Eve festivities involving large crowds of people and fireworks.

U.S. European Commander General Philip Breedlove emphasized these security messages during a recent all-hands call with servicemembers in the Stuttgart area last week.

“We want the same number of people to arrive back at work in
the New Year as we have with us today, ” he said.

That means everyone — servicemembers, civilians, and family members — should be on alert whether they are staying in the local area or traveling throughout Europe.

People should report any suspicious activity to the military police, local police, or your service’s investigative division.

In Europe, people are to dial 1-1-2 in the event of an emergency.

EUCOM continually assesses potential threats to its forces with and
alongside host nation counterparts across the European theater while implementing various measures and security enhancements at facilities across its area of responsibility based upon those assessments.

For alerts and travel restrictions, refer to this page as well as the U.S. State Department at

F-15 Eagles to Return from Incirlik

The Air Force F-15 Eagles and Strike Eagles deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, are returning to RAF Lakenheath, UK, beginning Dec. 16.

Turkey is a NATO ally, a close friend of the United States, and an important  partner in the international Coalition against ISIL. Last month, 12 F-15s  arrived at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, reflecting both our commitment to  ensure the safety of our NATO ally and our commitment to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria. Since their arrival in November,  the F-15Cs flew invaluable training missions with Turkish counterparts enhancing the interoperability our air forces.

Six of these F-15s (F-15Cs) were sent in response to the Government of  Turkey’s request for support in securing the sovereignty of Turkish airspace. This  deployment served not only as an immediate response to a request from an ally, but as an exercise for the U.S. Air Force ability to deploy aircraft  and Airmen on short notice to Turkey, if ever needed.

During this deployment, a bilateral agreement was finalized that outlined the procedures for combat air patrol missions to be flown by U.S. pilots and aircraft. This enduring agreement and knowledge gained from these training missions allows U.S. Air Force to support the air defense missions in Turkey if needed, either with these F-15 air frames or other U.S. platforms in the

Six F-15Es deployed in support of counter-ISIL operations. They joined our  manned (12 A-10s) and remotely piloted aircraft as well as coalition  aircraft to launch strikes missions against ISIL in Syria and Iraq.  Operations against ISIL will continue by these units from a variety of  different operating locations – the end of this deployment does not indicate  a reduction in counter ISIL operations. Coalition aircraft operating from Incirlik are expected to increase and continue to increase in the coming months.

Beyond these operations, EUCOM continues a dialogue with Turkey to evaluate options on the most effective means to counter ISIL, including along its borders, in a manner that promotes Turkey’s security and regional stability.