With just six fighter squadrons and one C-130 squadron permanently based in US Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa, the command is working to fit its own forces as well as theater security package deployments into a robust engagement plan to meet an increased demand for forces supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve, officials told Air Force Magazine. This past January, USAFE-AFAFRICA received the go-ahead to begin its own TSPs, Lt. Col. Bradley Brandt, the chief of USAFE-AFAFRICA’s operations and training branch, said in a recent interview at the command’s Ramstein AB, Germany, headquarters. Brandt and the headquarters staff have worked to schedule these deployments six months to a year in advance, so USAF officials in Europe can fit them into their existing plans without cancelling previously scheduled events. “We fit them into locations where we had said ‘no’ before, or where we couldn’t participate because of time,” he said, which means these TSPs are rotated around the continent to participate in a range of events and exercises. The first A-10 TSP, for example, began operations at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, but soon went on to the Army’s Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany to conduct close air support training, then to the Netherlands, and then to Romania. The result is a wider variety of training opportunities available for both allied militaries and US services in Europe.
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.