At the residence of the U.S. chief of mission in Havana, President Barack Obama and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice receive an update via telephone from Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco on the terrorist attacks in Brussels, March 22, 2016. White House photo by Pete Souza
WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–March 22, 2016 — An American service member and his family were caught up in the tragic attacks in Brussels today, U.S. European Command officials said.
Officials cannot release their status.
Belgian officials said more than 30 people were killed as a result of the attacks at the airport and a metro station. Hundreds more were injured, officials said.
Support to Belgium
“We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible,” President Barack Obama said this morning at the start of his speech from Havana. “And this is yet another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together, regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. We can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world.”
During testimony to the House Armed Services Committee today, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said U.S. officials are accounting for all personnel assigned in Europe. He added that the United States will provide whatever assistance Belgium needs.
“Brussels is an international city that has been host to NATO and the European Union for decades,” Carter said. “Together, we must and we will continue to do everything we can to protect our homelands and defeat terrorists wherever they threaten us. No attack can shake our resolve to accelerate the defeat of ISIL.”
European Command is working with subordinate commands to account for all service members — including those on pre-approved leave. “We are also working closely with our interagency partners and host nation counterparts to determine the appropriate steps to ensure the safety and security of all U.S. personnel,” defense officials said. “Consistent with the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, due to the heightened threat environment, U.S. citizens are urged to remain vigilant and aware of the local security situation; to follow local authority instructions and to monitor local media for further developments.”
By: Jim Garamone
Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneDoDNews