The annual Distinguished Visitors Day of Exercise Defender-Europe 2021, hosted by Albania yesterday, brought together Albanian President and Prime Minister, US Ambassador to Albania Yuri Kim and three four-star US generals: Commander of the American European Command, General Tod Wolters; US Air Force Commander for Europe and Africa, General Jeffrey Harrigian; and the US Army’s Commanding General for Europe and Africa, Gen. Christopher Cavoli, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said today.
Defender-Europe is an annual, large-scale, joint U.S. Army-led, multinational exercise designed to enhance readiness and interoperability between the U.S., NATO and partner armies.
“This was the first time that Joint Logistics Over the Shore had been conducted in Europe since World War II,” noted the press secretary. “It was [also] This is the first time that Albania has hosted a multinational exercise led by the United States. “Exercise Defender Europe 2021 runs through June with more than 28,000 personnel from 26 countries. Over the next two weeks, the exercise will take place in Bulgaria, Croatia and Estonia., Greece, Hungary and Romania.
Aid for India
The fourth U.S. military plane touched down in India today, delivering the vital supplies needed, Kirby said.
“Of those four flights, the US Transportation Command delivered 1 million rapid diagnostic tests, 545 oxygen concentrators, over 1.6 million N95 masks, 457 oxygen cylinders, 440 regulators, 220 pulse oximeters and 1 deployable oxygen concentration system, ”he said.
“It’s just part of the whole-of-government response to our friends in India,” Kirby said. “And of course, we are staying in touch with them to see if there are other ways to help them defeat COVID-19 as we move forward.”
The press secretary also noted that to date, the National Guard has administered more than 10 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Americans, and the Department of Defense has given 3 million doses to the DOD population. .
Kirby said Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III today ordered that the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, or SO / LIC organization, retain his direct chain of command to the secretary. for its role as the administrative chain of command on the United States Special Operations Command.
“The assistant secretary remains a senior staff assistant and will continue to have the full access … that the duty secretaries have,” he said. The secretary also ordered that the SO / LIC organization now join the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for the organization of policies. This will ensure that the special operations policy is fully integrated into all aspects of the department’s policies. . “
The DOD will soon issue a revised charter to further codify the role and responsibilities of the ASD (SO / LIC), he added.
“These efforts are important steps forward in strengthening civilian oversight of the United States Special Operations Command and providing integrated strategic advice for the department,” Kirby said.