John Vandiver

EUCOM tests war readiness with classified drill

The excercise scenario details for Austere Challenge are secret, but EUCOM said it involves bringing together the whole of allied power — land, sea, air, cyber and space assets – in the event of conflict.

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New space center at Ramstein is part of NATO's push to protect military infrastructure

NATO defense ministers officially agreed Thursday to launch a new space center at Ramstein Air Base, where more personnel will likely be added as allies seek to better protect military assets in orbit and elsewhere.

Ten NATO members now meet 2% defense spending benchmark, but not Germany

Germany, which has been accused by President Donald Trump of not spending enough on defense, spent only 1.57% of gross domestic product on its military, a NATO report said.

For the third time this year, a Navy destroyer enters the Barents Sea

The U.S. has once again sent a warship into the Barents Sea in what is becoming the new normal this year as Navy surface vessels navigate waters not visited since the height of the Cold War.

Marine Corps general under investigation for using racial slur is relieved of command

Maj. Gen. Stephen Neary has been relieved of command of U.S. Marines in Europe and Africa while the service investigates allegations he used a racial slur that denigrates Black people, the Corps said Tuesday.

Ramstein Air Base to house new NATO space center

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other military chiefs will review the plan Thursday, when NATO’s 30 member states begin a virtual two-day meeting.

Army’s V Corps, with a long history in Europe, is back in action

The Army’s storied V Corps officially reactivated Friday during a ceremony at Fort Knox, Ky., and a small portion of the unit is already on the ground in Poland to take up a new mission.

Coronavirus shuts down Stuttgart High School as Germany reels under record number of new cases

The closure of Stuttgart High School, which is attended by about 800 students, came as the number of new infections in Germany rose by more than 6,600 Thursday.

The Austrian Alps winter sports mecca of the Oetztal has spectacular scenery

The Oetztal in the heart of the Austrian Alps is a winter sports mecca, but there’s something to be said for getting there before the ski bums.

Trump tells Pentagon to devise a plan to leave Somalia, report says

President Donald Trump has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Somalia where they are fighting al-Qaida backed militants, Bloomberg News reported.

F-15s out of Lakenheath patrol the skies above Iceland

U.S. fighter jets have taken over a NATO air policing mission in the North Atlantic, operating from a base in Iceland that is of growing importance to the alliance as it counters an aggressive and expansionist Russia.

Stuttgart, Spangdahlem step up coronavirus restrictions after spike in cases around Germany

A sharp increase in coronavirus cases in Stuttgart over the weekend has forced officials to raise the health threat in the city to Germany’s highest level and to order new restrictions on social gatherings.

Kaiserslautern area raised to second-highest health alert level as coronavirus cases surge in Germany

The Kaiserslautern area was raised to Germany’s second-highest health alert level last week after a sudden spike in coronavirus cases that some were pinning on members of the large U.S. military community, officials said.

US military community in Kaiserslautern may be coronavirus hot spot as cases surge around Germany

The U.S. military community was being eyed Friday as a hot spot for new coronavirus infections in the Kaiserslautern area, where the health warning system was raised to the second-highest level after a sudden spike in cases, district officials said.

US Army Europe and Africa consolidate as Cavoli gets fourth star

Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli assumed command of the newly formed U.S. Army Europe and Africa on Oct. 1.

US, Romania sign defense cooperation deal

A 10-year road map could help pave the way for a larger U.S. military mission in Romania.

Turkey’s Russian air defense system may have tracked allied F-16s, US senators say

Two US senators also questioned whether Turkey had integrated NATO’s tactical data link into the S-400, which could allow Russia to gather information on alliance members.

Army proceeding with $1.7 million range project in Stuttgart despite troop drawdown plan

An upcoming range project and how it is being split financially was finalized before the Pentagon announced it intends to move U.S. European and Africa commands, as well as several subordinate units, out of the Stuttgart area.

NATO chief calls on Turkey to help ease Armenia-Azerbaijan dispute

NATO’s top official on Monday called on Turkey to use its influence to reduce tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which are locked in a violent territorial dispute in which scores of civilians are reported to have died since July.

Marine F-35s deploy to UK carrier in a first among allies

Marine Corps F-35s are operating alongside British fighters aboard the U.K.’s new Queen Elizabeth carrier.

Marine general under investigation for allegations he used a racial slur, Corps confirms

Maj. Gen. Stephen Neary, who commands Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, is alleged to have used a derogatory term for Blacks in the presence of other Marines. The Marine Corps did not go into detail about the nature of the incident.

USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams first major Navy ship to be based in Greece in decades

USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams, which will homeport at Souda Bay, is an expeditionary sea base designed to carry Marines and special operations troops to hot spots or train with partners.

Russian military strength at a post-Cold War high, report says

The Russian military is more capable than at any time since the end of the Cold War, the result of an effort to produce a more agile force, a new study found.

House lawmakers grill Pentagon officials over plan to pull US troops from Germany

The plan for a large-scale U.S. force reduction in Germany remains a work in progress, Pentagon officials said Wednesday as House lawmakers questioned whether the plan to pull 12,000 troops from the country makes fiscal or strategic sense.

173rd Airborne to memorialize paratrooper who died in hiking accident

A 173rd Airborne Brigade soldier who died after falling down a ravine while hiking a World War I military trail near Vicenza, Italy, will be remembered by his unit in a memorial ceremony, the Army said Tuesday.

Flu shots might not arrive at Navy hospital in Naples until December, officials say

Getting a flu vaccine “is more important than ever” this year to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said.

South Carolina makes its pitch as the scramble for AFRICOM begins

Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott touted Joint Base Charleston as a potential location for AFRICOM headquarters if a location in Africa isn’t an option.

The seafood at Oishi Sushi in Stuttgart will melt in your mouth

Sushi in Stuttgart is something I’ve shunned.

US trains for attack in central Europe in Astral Knight drills

U.S. and other NATO forces are practicing how to fend off an attack in central Europe, bringing together B-52 bombers, fighters and missile defenses for a drill simulating a large-scale battle.

NATO seeks to expand global political influence as China’s clout grows

China’s growing military and economic clout means NATO must forge ties with partners beyond Europe to expand its influence, the alliance’s top official said Monday.

NATO's new Atlantic Command tasked with countering an increasingly assertive Russia

Set up to help allies move forces across the ocean in a crisis, the Norfolk, Va.-based command has been under development since 2018, when NATO approved the concept.

Army launches probe as three coronavirus cases are connected to Edelweiss quarantine violation

Three of 56 active cases in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen district were traced directly to an Edelweiss Lodge and Resort employee’s night on the town after she was ordered into quarantine following a coronavirus test, district officials said.

Last week’s coronavirus case at military’s Edelweiss Lodge wasn’t the first, German officials say

A worker at the U.S. military’s vacation lodge in Bavaria who may have spread the coronavirus last week wasn’t the first case of the virus at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, German officials said.

Edelweiss to close for two weeks after getting blame for virus spread in Garmisch

U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria on Friday confirmed that it has experienced an outbreak inside the hotel, which will close Monday for at least two weeks as a precaution.

Air Force B-1 bombers fly over East Siberian Sea in latest US show of force

Three B-1 Lancer bombers flew above the East Siberian Sea near Russia on the eastern edge of U.S. European Command’s territory this week, the military said Friday.

US embassy to challenge Germany over attempts to tax American troops

Involvement of senior U.S. officials comes after Germany has threatened to impose hefty tax penalties — some in six figures — on troops and civilians who it says have special ties to the country.