The Air Force plans to reactivate 3rd Air Force—it was just a year ago that US Air Forces in Europe deactivated it. The news is seeping out, as you can see from this biography of Lt. Gen. Robert Bishop Jr., which now notes at the top that he is “selected for reassignment as commander, 3rd Air Force.” There was also a brief announcement out of DOD on Sept. 22 (we missed it first time around). The implication of both the bio and announcement is that 3rd will be emplaced at Ramstein AB, Germany, the site of USAFE’s new warfighting headquarters, not at its old stomping ground at RAF Mildenhall, England. However, there is no official word out of USAFE yet.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.