The Reality of Rotating Forces

When US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa supported the “noncombatant evacuation” of US personnel in Libya this summer, the command sent five tankers, three F-16s, C-130s, and a C-17, said USAFE-AFAFRICA Commander Gen. Frank Gorenc on Monday. During that mission alone, the F-16 pilots logged 12.5 hours in the air, he said at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. “What if we had to do that mission with rotating forces?” he questioned, alluding to the continue call from Congress to cut US force structure and manpower in Europe in lieu of instituting another round of stateside base closures. “We certainly couldn’t be as responsive. It would cost roughly three-to-one on the force structure. That’s the reality of it. That’s the decision we have to make,” he said.