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Trimmed to the Bone: As far as officials at US Air Forces in Europe are concerned USAFE took its fair share of cuts to personnel and aircraft in the 1990s, when the command dropped from 25 main bases and 850 aircraft to five bases and some 200 aircraft, reports Scott Schonauer in Stars and Stripes. USAFE deputy director for plans, programs, and requirements, Col. Philip McDaniel said that what's left is "pretty essential." USAFE boss, Gen. Tom Hobbins said much the same last fall, adding that the cuts to USAFE were offset by the growth in NATO. However, USAFE does expect to take some personnel reductions in its headquarters staff, as the Air Force consolidates some specialties such as civil engineering and personnel back in the states.