Although US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa did not specifically request A-10s for Europe’s first theater security package, USAFE-AFAFRICA boss Gen. Frank Gorenc said it’s actually “a match made in heaven.” Now that combat operations have ended in Afghanistan, many European allies and partners are back home and have joint terminal attack controllers that require training, Gorenc told Air Force Magazine during a Thursday morning interview at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando. The Warthogs will be based out of Spangdahlem AB, Germany, but will forward deploy several times to Eastern Europe during the rotation. “There is a whole string of exercises that are part of [Operation] Atlantic Resolve; there are detachments of Army soldiers doing training with Baltic countries, in Poland specifically, so we’ll be sending them there and then down south in Romania and Bulgaria,” said Gorenc. The combination of A-10s with ground forces requirements “is advantageous to everybody,” he added. The A-10 deployment is expected to be the first of several six-month TSP rotations, but Gorenc said it’s not yet clear if those will run back-to-back. The command will continue to request fighter support through TSPs, as it did this time around, to support the Atlantic Resolve mission—the US’ reassurance effort to NATO and its European partners. “I would imagine the emergence of Russia and the way they are acting out in Ukraine will give it reasonable priority and I think we’ll be reasonably successful,” he added.
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.