US Air Forces in Europe has steadily been ramping up its exercise schedule in light of Russia’s activity in the region. Exercises increased about 30 percent from 2015 to 2016 and the command expects to see another 30 percent increase in 2017, USAFE Commander Gen. Tod Wolters told reporters at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium last week. “One of the critical areas is command and control,” said Wolters. It’s important that the pictures operators see inside NATO’s Combined Air Operations Center Torrejon in Spain, which is responsible for the area south of the Alps; the CAOC Uedem in Germany, which is responsible for the area north of the Alps; and the US-run 603rd Air and Space Operations Center at Ramstein AB, Germany, “is as robust and common as possible,” said Wolters.
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.