The Defense Department‘s fiscal year 2018 budget request allocates approximately $4.8 billion for the European Reassurance Initiative, an increase of $1.4 billion from ERI funds in FY 2017, DoD News reported Thursday.
Air Force Maj. Gen. David Allvin, director of strategy at the U.S. European Command, told reporters in a telephone briefing that the funding increase will support efforts against future Russian aggression through heightened air, sea and land force activities as well as interoperability with multinational forces.
Allvin added the requested FY 2018 ERI budget includes $1.7 billion for increased U.S. military presence; $218 million for exercises and training; $2.2 billion for prepositioning military equipment; $338 million to optimize infrastructure; and $267 million to boost the defense capacity of allies and partners.
The budget request also allocates $150 million to aid Ukraine’s internal defense operations, the report stated.
EUCOM said in a press release that the U.S. Army will maintain its rotational armored brigade combat team and combat aviation brigade presence in the region in FY 2018.
The military branch will also ramp up intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts; integrated air and missile defense efforts; interoperability and deterrence exercises; and prepositioned equipment, according to the report.
The U.S. Air Force will expand ISR processing, exploitation and dissemination activities with European allies and continue support for NATO missions.
EUCOM noted the U.S. Marine Corps will work to grow its rotational presence across the theater and increase prepositioning assets while the U.S. Navy will boost anti-submarine warfare and surface mine-countermeasure efforts and equipment.