The European Diet Plan

During the 1990s, US Air Forces in Europe supported one combatant command. USAFE was made up of four separate staffs, including headquarters and three numbered air forces. There were 25 main operating bases, at which some 72,000 Air Force personnel were assigned, and a total of 805 aircraft in 34 aircraft squadrons. By comparison, US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa now supports two combatant commands with one integrated staff, including headquarters and one numbered air force. Instead of 25 main operating bases, there are just six. The number of aircraft assigned to the theater has dropped from 805 to 204 and there are just 10 aircraft squadrons. Lt. Gen. Tom Jones, USAFE-AFAFRICA vice commander, said seeing those stats side-by-side can be “enlightening” to those who may not be aware of the command’s full scope of operations. “When I hear talk back in the [United] States, and sometimes in the Pentagon, about bringing things back from Europe, I tell them there is not a lot of Air Force things to bring back,” Jones told Air Force Magazine during a briefing at command headquarters at Ramstein AB, Germany, in mid June.