Commander, U.S. European Command discuss USAFE Role

by 1st Lt. J.D. Griffin
U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs

Partnering with allies to strengthen capabilities and interoperability is the future of U.S. European Command, of which air power is a major factor.

Army Gen. John Craddock, U.S. European Command commander, visited Ramstein recently and spoke about the way ahead for the command and how U.S. Air Forces in Europe moves the mission forward.

“USAFE is a key part of building partner nation capability,” General Craddock said. “The ability to move, deter or influence will often default to air power because it’s agile … and it brings with it enormous capabilities.”

From the Atlantic Ocean and across the continent to Israel, USAFE demonstrates a capacity that cannot be denied, General Craddock said.

“USAFE Airmen are building the capabilities of our partners and providing access to the Eurasian continent in support of allied objectives,” said Gen. Roger Brady, USAFE commander. “Our multinational training opportunities enhance the full range of deterrent air power we give to U.S. EUCOM.”

Providing leadership and training among allies also comes with a high degree of responsibility.

“Competence, discipline and skill in what you do is key,” General Craddock said. “And, it’s important to use your leadership to train others, and that relates to allies, partners and friends.”

Two weeks of upcoming training that combines the Spanish Air Force and the 493rd Fighter Squadron from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, is a prime example of the commander’s comments. The United States’ contribution will include more than 100 maintainers, pilots and jets.

USAFE’s ability to engage with U.S. allies and partners while building air capacity and capability has been one of the command’s greatest contributions to EUCOM, General Craddock said.

“Today is about allies and friends because it’s not a go-it-alone world,” General Craddock said. “And USAFE is doing and extraordinary job in reaching out multinationally.”