Consolidating European Infrastructure

Gen. Philip Breedlove, head of US European Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, said he expects the European Infrastructure Consolidation review to wrap up “relatively soon.” Although he declined to discuss specifics during a Monday news conference at the Pentagon, Breedlove said the Air Force should expect to see “at least reductions of our F-15 force in Europe.” The Fiscal 2015 budget request sought a reduction of 51 F-15Cs across the force, of which 21 will come from Europe, said Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanik on Tuesday. US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Commander Gen. Frank Gorenc told Air Force Magazine earlier Monday the command has “made our inputs to that team and up to this point, I’ve been satisfied that our concerns have been addressed.” The review is being led by the Defense Department and focuses on excess infrastructure, not manning levels, in the European theater. Gorenc said many other commands also have weighed in throughout the process. For example, Air Mobility Command “is very interested in what happens to Ramstein [AB, Germany] and Spangdahelm [Air Base] because a lot of throughput comes through Europe,” he said. Both Breedlove and Gorenc emphasized that while there is likely excess infrastructure in Europe, there is not much room for force structure reductions. “I fully support the EIC, and I think it’s headed in a good direction,” said Breedlove. (Breedlove transcript.) (See also Re-evaluating European Force Structure and the European Diet Plan.)