Seeking New Training Venues

US Air Forces in Europe is in discussions “at the staff level” about using airspace around Lajes Field in the Portuguese Azores as one means to improve its training options, Gen. Roger Brady, USAFE commander, said Sept. 16 in Washington, D.C. Consultations are also taking place with Portugal, Brady said, because it obviously has “a lot to say” about the issue. USAFE often finds it difficult to arrange high-quality training because of an overall shortage of range space on the densely populated European continent with its heavy commercial air traffic. The command also is considering other places as possible partial training solutions, he said. One option might entail expanding use of the ranges in Romania and Bulgaria US forces have used for several years. Turkey’s large Konya range is another location with growth potential. Brady said there’s discussion about training in Croatia as well. Even Sweden, not a NATO member, has hosted NATO forces for exercises, he said.