During the 1990s, US Air Forces in Europe supported one combatant
command. USAFE was made up of four separate staffs, including
headquarters and three numbered air forces. There were 25 main operating
bases, at which some 72,000 Air Force personnel were assigned, and a
total of 805 aircraft in 34 aircraft squadrons. By comparison, US Air
Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa now supports two combatant commands
with one integrated staff, including headquarters and one numbered air
force. Instead of 25 main operating bases, there are just six. The
number of aircraft assigned to the theater has dropped from 805 to 204
and there are just 10 aircraft squadrons. Lt. Gen. Tom Jones,
USAFE-AFAFRICA vice commander, said seeing those stats side-by-side can
be "enlightening" to those who may not be aware of the command's full
scope of operations. “When I hear talk back in the [United] States, and
sometimes in the Pentagon, about bringing things back from Europe, I
tell them there is not a lot of Air Force things to bring back,” Jones
told Air Force Magazine during a briefing at command headquarters at Ramstein AB, Germany, in mid June.
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