At the “Ragged Edge”

There’s no question that US Air Forces in Europe forces are vital to the war in Southwest Asia, contends USAFE boss Gen. Roger Brady, who noted Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference that USAFE assets are some of the most utilized forces. Several USAFE bases, he said, are located at “the lens,” the focal point between Eurasia and the continental US for activities ranging from transport to medical evacuation to resupply. And, he noted, don’t forget the energy savings presented by USAFE—an often overlooked advantage—because his airpower forces are already “halfway to the fight.” However, of concern, is that the command’s smaller force structure and continuing high operations tempo greatly reduces its ability to respond to catastrophic events. Brady declared, “We are at the ragged edge.” He added, “If I lose a squadron, that’s another 100 events I won’t be able to participate in,” suggesting instead that USAFE could use two more aircraft squadrons to catch up with demand.