US replacing 2 brigades with twice yearly battalion exercises in Europe

German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere with US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, September 2, 2012

From Leon Panetta, the Department of DefenseI also should mention that I again reaffirm that as part of our strategy, one of the pillars in our strategy is to maintain our strong partnership with NATO and that we will continue to do that.  We are, as I mentioned to all of you, in addition to the two brigades that will remain here, are developing a third brigade from which we will have battalions come to Europe and do exercises twice a year.  And I think it’s fair to say all of – all of our NATO allies expressed great thanks for the commitment that we are making with regards to our presence in Europe.

Excerpt from press briefing by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. (photo: Getty)

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