This exercise is a great example of multilateral cooperation that ensures our nations’ militaries are better able to operate together as NATO Allies. Interoperability is vital to our success. Our militaries have been learning, training, and fighting together as NATO allies for more than 15 years. The NATO alliance is an enduring commitment – not only when it is convenient, but always.
Brave Warrior started with the very successful engineering and movement exercise, Dragoon Crossing. Months of planning, coordination, and preparation were executed with a precision that now seems to be common place between our two militaries. To build upon that success, the Hungarian and U.S. militaries have been training with four other NATO Allies and our NATO partner Ukraine over the past month. Their hard work culminated in the very impressive Live Fire Exercise we saw here today.
We appreciate that these exercises, Dragoon Crossing and Brave Warrior, which Hungary planned for a long time, took place when Hungary and the other countries participating here are facing humanitarian challenges at home. While we are here today to talk about this exercise and to celebrate its success, I think it is important to acknowledge that our security cooperation is only one part – but an integral part — of the broad scope of our relationship with Hungary and we continue to be engaged in all areas of that relationship, at all times.
As I noted, Hungary and our European Allies and partners are dealing with a significant humanitarian crisis, and there’s no downplaying the human cost of the instability in Syria that has led to millions of people fleeing their homes and their communities, trying to escape the terrible violence.
The greater the transatlantic and global challenges, the more important it is that the United States and Europe address them together. No other nations will step up if we don’t; yet other nations will and do join us when we, as a transatlantic community, lead the way and give collective action our shared seal of approval and our involvement and commitment.
We must continue to work together to achieve shared goals for our community, for our neighbors, and for the rest of the world. We remain committed to working for a Europe that is whole, free and at peace, and we know that we can only achieve this by working together towards a world that is free and at peace.