Mobility in Europe Needs a Lift

Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of US forces in Europe, told Congress Tuesday that he is concerned about mobility challenges EUCOM currently faces. In recent years “we began to atrophy,” he said in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. When asked about airlift capability in the wake of several waves of C-5 Galaxy retirements since 2004, Scaparrotti said EUCOM’s airlift capability is “a little slower than I would like at this point.” He is particularly concerned about “civilian ships and aircraft that we routinely rely upon in a crisis,” though he said the US needs to update its knowledge of ground and rail infrastructure, as well. “We need agility,” Scaparrotti said, and added that Germany and other NATO allies have been helping to address this problem. “We are currently making investments as well as our allies and we should continue to do that.” The Air Force is in the process of upgrading 52 legacy Galaxies to the C-5M Super Galaxy configuration with new engines and avionics, and more reliable airframes.