Mar 06 2019
EUCOM Commander Calls for More Ships to Counter Russian Fleets
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, yesterday attended a hearing to receive testimony on the United States European Command (EUCOM) and United States Transportation Command in advance of FY 2020 budget request discussions.
In an exchange with Wicker, General Curtis Scaparrotti, who is Commander of EUCOM, shared his recommendations regarding the need to augment U.S. seapower forces in Europe. He pointed to the growing threat from an increasingly aggressive Russian navy and called for the U.S. Navy to acquire more ships.
“I have asked for two more destroyers for EUCOM,” Gen. Scaparrotti said.
He continued, “We do need greater capacity, particularly given the modernization and growth of the Russian fleets in Europe.”
Gen. Scaparrotti also said he would welcome more rotation of U.S. Navy components through his region.
Wicker has supported efforts to expedite ship acquisitions through multiyear procurements that save money and enhance American shipbuilding capabilities. Last year’s defense bill authorized the purchase of up to 15 additional destroyers for the Navy.
Wicker recently returned from a congressional delegation trip to Europe where he attended the Munich Security Conference, the world’s leading forum for debating international security policy. While there, Wicker met with high-level European leaders to discuss emerging threats. Gen. Scaparotti, who serves as the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, briefed the delegation.