US Air Forces in Europe has a “whole slew” of ways it plans to spend its share of the European Reassurance Initiative funding, which the administration wants to quadruple. The Fiscal 2017 budget request calls for $3.4 billion in military force structure and operations aimed at reassuring allies in Europe with the Air Force’s share going for exercises and increased deployments, along with ample amounts of construction, said Gen. Frank Gorenc, commander of US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa. The Air Force wants to build “airfield capability” in Eastern Europe to get different sites ready for high volume operations if necessary, Gorenc said at AWS16. “There’s a whole list of things we’ve wanted to do for years” to build up airfields in the Baltic States. Just because there’s a runway available doesn’t mean it is an airfield, he said. The Air Force will spend money on building fuel infrastructure, weapons storage facilities, and other “key improvements” at multiple sites in the region, he said. The money also supports an entire F-15 squadron at RAF Lakenheath, England.
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