The number of main operating bases in Europe, along with the number of
aircraft and aircraft squadrons in theater, has declined by about 75
percent since the height of the Cold War, while the number of Air Force
personnel assigned to US Air Forces in Europe has dropped by about 55
percent over that span. Still, the operational tempo continues to climb
for Air Force assets in that region. “My sincere belief is many of our
leaders, military and elected, ... have a misunderstanding, or an
understanding that is about this 1990s kind of force that we have: all
kinds of infrastructure and all kinds of airplanes and all kinds of
people are over here. But in reality, we’re down by about 75 percent in
almost every category that we measure,” Lt. Gen. Tom Jones, vice commander of US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, told Air Force Magazine
during a visit to the command’s headquarters at Ramstein AB, Germany,
in mid June. Jones said there are 34,000 personnel assigned to
USAFE-AFAFRICA. There are 10 aircraft squadrons and 200 airplanes. By
comparison, as a wing commander at Luke AFB, Ariz., from 2006-2008,
Jones oversaw 10 fighter squadrons and 200
aircraft. “So, I had as many squadrons and aircraft under a single base
in the United States as we have almost in the entire command here at
USAFE,” he said.
Daily Report: Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Daily Report: Read the top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
An F-35A Lightning II assigned to Hill AFB, Utah,
conducts a training flight with F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to Kunsan
AB, Republic of Korea, over the city of Gunsan, on Dec. 1, 2017,
in preparation for Vigilant Ace 18.
Tweets by @AirForceMag