US Forces in Europe commander Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti told Congress Tuesday that greater capacity in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance is at the top of his priority list. Given the “modernization advances of our adversaries”—and particularly of Russia—Scaparrotti told the House Armed Services Committee that he needs ISR in “greater numbers than I have now.” With regard to the JSTARS fleet, the EUCOM boss said, “I do not have all that I’d like to have today to provide the [indications and warnings] that I need in Europe.” EUCOM needs increased capacity to “understand movement and change” within the large Russian force, Scaparrotti said, so that US forces have the “ability to react appropriately.” The EUCOM boss also said he needs “enhanced missile defense” in light of Russia’s recent deployment of a land-based cruise missile in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. After the unclassified open hearing, Scaparrotti briefed members of the committee on classified matters in a closed session.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.