Congresswoman Elaine Luria Calls for Increased Cooperation with NATO Allies

March 13, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – During a House Armed Services Committee hearing today, Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) called for increased American coordination with NATO allies in the face of more Russian and Chinese maritime presence in European waters.

Questioning the head of U.S. European Command (EUCOM), U.S. Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Congresswoman Luria, a 20-year Navy veteran who retired at the rank of Commander, asked whether heightened Russian naval activity – and activity between Russian forces and Chinese forces – increases the need for additional U.S. Navy presence in the EUCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR).

In the course of his response, General Scaparrotti said “that’s the basis of my request for increase” and mentioned “they do train together from time to time,” referring to Russian and Chinese forces.

“For instance, in the [Mediterranean] we saw the largest grouping of Russian ships in probably 15 years,” General Scaparrotti said.

After the hearing, Congresswoman Luria – who voted in January to reaffirm American support of NATO – reinforced the importance of coordinating with our allies.

“My concern, having operated with NATO allies, is you cannot just show up when conflict arises and expect to seamlessly integrate forces,” Congresswoman Luria said. “We need to be refining our mission on a daily basis so we know how to operate with NATO, deter aggression, and prevail in conflict.”

Video of Congresswoman Luria’s committee remarks can be found here.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.