US Air Forces in Europe has reactivated 3rd Air Force, this time at Ramstein AB, Germany, not its old home at RAF Mildenhall, England. (We noted in early October that this resurrection was in the wind.) At the same time, officials inactivated 16th Air Force, but officials say the 16th legacy will continue through the 16th Air Expeditionary Task Force at Izmir AB, Turkey. Lt. Gen. Robert Bishop has taken charge of the revamped 3rd AF, which now comprises the 603rd Air and Space Operations Center, 603rd Support Group, 4th Air Support Operations Group, and some 1,400 personnel, many from 16th AF.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.