The Insider

Mattis heading to Europe for defense conferences

February 9, 2018 at 4:01 PM

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will head to Europe for a slew of meetings with NATO allies, as well as officials from U.S. European and Africa commands, respectively.

On Sunday, Mattis leaves for Rome, where he will meet with Italian Minister of Defense Roberta Pinotti and other senior officials Feb. 12-13, the Pentagon said today. The Defense Department plans to roll out its fiscal year 2019 budget request on Monday, Mattis' first day in Rome.

He will then head to Brussels to participate in the first NATO defense ministerial of the year Feb. 14-15, where "he will engage with allies to discuss how to strengthen the alliance and forge new partnerships, ensure that the alliance is fit for its time, and to deter or defeat threats to the alliance," according to the Pentagon's statement.

Next up is Stuttgart, Germany, where Mattis will visit the respective headquarters of U.S. European and Africa commands Feb. 15-16. Finally, Mattis finishes the trip in Munich Feb. 16-17 for the 54th Munich Security Conference. The event will involve a discussion of "current crises and future challenges in European security policy," according to the Pentagon.