07.03.15, 09:57 #1
<<The Air Force's response to growing concerns in Eastern Europe includes new deployments and training exercises for airmen, who will train in countries facing down Russia over incursions in Ukraine.
New agreements with countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and Estonia lay the groundwork for training missions involving F-15s, F-16s and airlift aircraft, while other aircraft, such as A-10s, are being called on to show the military's force in the region.
The Air Force's quick response to situations in Europe is based on its ability to base or forward deploy aircraft and personnel on the continent, said Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO supreme allied commander. At the beginning of Operation Atlantic Resolve last March, Air Force jets were able to start flying from Poland within 18 hours because "we were there, forward and ready," Breedlove told the House Armed Services Committee on Feb. 25.
However, a challenging situation remains and the military needs to be ready.
"Compared to just one year ago, Europe faces a very different and much more challenging security environment," Breedlove said. "Our top concern is a resurgent Russia. A Russia attempting to exercise power and influence through the use of force and intimidation."
A continued presence in Europe is contingent on stable funding and Congress blocking the return of sequestration next year, Christine Wormuth, Defense Department undersecretary for policy, told lawmakers.
"Our U.S. footprint in Europe gives us the capability to defend our security interests, to enhance trans-Atlantic security, to reassure allies and deter aggression which, again, we certainly see in a very marked way in recent times," Wormuth said. "In a time of limited resources, however, the U.S, has to be more innovative and explore new posture arrangements by increasing our flexibility, our adaptability and our readiness."
The Air Force has a long list of planned deployments and exercises this year in Eastern Europe under Operation Atlantic Resolve. First was the theater security package of 12 A-10s that landed in Germany in February. About 300 airmen and support equipment are deployed with the A-10s from the 355th Fighter Wing, based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.
"While in Germany, these aircraft will forward-deploy to locations in Eastern European NATO nations," said Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, EUCOM spokesman. "Units will conduct training alongside our NATO allies to strengthen interoperability and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security and stability of Europe."
The rotations are good to keep training with NATO allies, but are no substitute for the military's permanent bases in the region, Breedlove said. While there is no plan to open new bases in Eastern Europe as aggression over Ukraine continues, the military needs to keep its footprint strong in the region, he said.
"Rotational presence is no substitute as permanent forward presence is in building relationships for signaling our commitment," Breedlove said. "But genuine and fully funded rotational presence can play a role in helping meet the requirements in our theater if it is heel to toe and properly resourced.
"It is, after all, easier and cheaper to prevent a problem than to have to retake a piece of land."
A-10s return to Germany
The Air Force in May 2013 closed down the 81st Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, as part of both the service's downsizing of infrastructure in Europe and the retirement of the A-10. Now, the Warthogs have been pressed back in to service in Germany.
The A-10s are the first of the rotations, and were picked because they were available to deploy for six months, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in an email. The mission is both a show of force in the region, but also another way to train U.S. troops and allied forces. While the first deployment is A-10s, other aircraft will cycle through afterward. The next deployment, consisting of F-15Cs, is expected as early as April.
For this deployment, the close air support mission of the A-10 will be called upon to train local forces, said Gen. Frank Gorenc, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe. Countries in the region that have provided joint terminal attack controllers to the war in Afghanistan have not been able to train with close air support aircraft until now.
"There's a lot of exercising going out there and we intend to support the Army to the maximum extent possible in this endeavor," Gorenc said in an interview with Air Force Times sister publication Defense News. "All of those people that used to routinely go to Afghanistan and fly their craft, now don't have that opportunity anymore because they're out and yet they need the training. So that's why this [theater security package], particularly in the form of the A-10, is going to be very, very useful."
The rotation is not tied to a specific platform, but instead is a way for "presenting forces at the right time" in Europe, Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, commander of 3rd Air Force, said in a ceremony welcoming the A-10s to Germany.
"For the next six months, the 354th Fighter Squadron will bolster that capability," Robertson said. "They will conduct training alongside our NATO allies to strengthen interoperability and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security and stability of Europe."
Meanwhile, planning for the European theater security packages is complicated by the need for aircraft to contribute to Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State group, Gorenc said. However, the priority for an Air Force presence in Europe has "gone way up."
"You know, when you get a TSP package in the form of an A-10 while the campaign against ISIS is going on, that's a clear statement of how important Europe is in the prioritization — to achieve the aspiration of both the alliance and our country," Gorenc said.
Ramp up in training
These training missions are designed to help allied nations become more ready to address the threat of a resurgent Russia in the region, and to lessen U.S. involvement in Operation Atlantic Resolve.
"The readiness and capability is the thing we are working on together, to raise the capability of the NATO alliance," Breedlove said.
The Air Force has mission sets simply unavailable in other countries, such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; heavy airlift and more precision strike. These are requested by NATO allies for training and standby for reassurance, Breedlove said.
"All of those enabling capabilities that are less abundant in other nations, those are the things that we are most asked to bring, provide, train with, help people understand how to use them," he said.
"We're running pretty hard," Gorenc said. "I think that our people are satisfied with the mission that they're doing. We're getting some good training out of it. They recognize their role as being the forward, ready now element of the force."
The high operations tempo comes as the Defense Department and the Air Force are moving to consolidate infrastructure, including closing Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, and increasing the mission of other bases, such as RAF Lakenheath, England.
"We made full input into that European infrastructure consolidation," Gorenc said. "We did have excess infrastructure. In the end, we acted on that. For the first time in a long time, I would say that we are balanced in infrastructure and balanced with force structure. That was a good thing."
The largest change comes for the special operations community, with the closure of RAF Mildenhall. The base is the host to the 352nd Special Operations Group, which will likely move to Germany in the next several years as a result of the closure, said Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command.
The service's largest base in England, RAF Lakenheath, will grow even more when it becomes the first home for Air Force F-35s in 2020. The base is already the home to two F-15E squadrons and one F-15C/D squadron. The base also stood up a new rescue squadron, the 57th Rescue Squadron, in February.
F-15s at Lakenheath had previously been targeted for retirement, but that move is on hold based on provisions in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.
"There's no current plan to phase out F-15s," Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said in early February. "We're going to keep the 'super wing' going.">>
- F-16s werden noch diesen Frühling nach Ämari Air Base in Estland und Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Rumänien geschickt
- C-130s und weitere F-16s werden nach Powidz Air Base in Polen verlegt
- Air National Guard F-15s werden an der exercise Thracian Eagle, auch noch diesen Frühling in Graf Ignatievo Air Base in Bulgarien, an Exercise Saber Strike und an Baltic operations diesen Sommer in den baltischen Staaten und Polen teilnehmen.
- C-130s trainieren diesen Sommer in Bulgarien und Rumänien
- Air National Guard F-16s und Air Force Reserve A-10s werden auch diesen Sommer für Training in Bulgarien und Estland eingesetzt.
Außer der Operation Atlantic Resolve werden dann noch Exercises Purple Windmill 2 und Purple Windmill 3 diesen Frühling und Sommer in den Niederlanden stattfinden; Exercise Eager Lion in Marocco, auch diesen Frühling; Exercise Anatolian Eagle in der Türkei und Exercise Arctic Challenge in Norwegen.
14.03.15, 12:44 #2
Ich stelle nun noch einmal alle Exercises der Operation Atlantic Resolve mit bisher bekannten Infos wie Zeitraum, Ort und Teilnehmern der USAF im Überblick da
- Exercise Purple Windmill 2 - Frühling - Niederlanden
- Exercise Purple Windmill 3 - Sommer - Niederlanden
- Exercise Eager Lion - Frühling - Marocco
- Exercise Anatolian Eagle - Übung 15-2 während Spottersdays - Türkei
- Exercise Arctic Challenge - 21.05.-04.06. - Norwegen - F-15C/D 125th FW (159th FS) Florida ANG
- Exercise Baltops 15 - 08.06.-19.06. - Baltische Staaten - F-15C/D 125th FW (159th FS) Florida ANG
- Exercise Thracian Eagle 2015 - 20.04.-01.05. - Graf Ignatievo in Bulgarien - F-15C/D ANG
- Exercise Saber Strike - Juni - Lettland, Litauen, Polen - F-15C/D 125th FW (159th FS) Florida ANG
- Exercise Dacian Warhawk - 10.03.-27.03. - Campia Turzii in Rumänien - 6x F-16CJ/DJ 52th FW (480th FS) Spangdahlem AB
Legende: Aufgabe Zeitraum Ort Teilnehmer
Vom 86th AW werden vom 13.04. bis zum 24-04. auch noch 2-4 C-130J-30 nach Powidz in Polen verlegt.
Der 355th FW aus Davis-Monthan AFB bleibt mit ihren 12 A-10C in Spangdahlem bis Juli präsent.
30.03.15, 09:08 #3Red Rippers
30.03.15, 10:12 #4
30.03.15, 13:00 #5
Kleine ergänzung soweit mir bekannt:
Exercise Frisian Flag 15/ -13-24th April - */F15 Fl ANG Niederlanden
Anbei danke für die ganzen Informationen
30.03.15, 17:25 #6
31.03.15, 08:57 #7Triple X
31.03.15, 11:11 #8
13.04.15, 20:15 #9524 Hounds
26.04.15, 11:06 #10Jeroen
Rotationen der USAF nach Mittel- und Osteuropa
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