COMUSAFE recaps first 100 days

Gen. Tom Hobbins
Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe
A snapshot of base key accomplishments

in the past three months:


Spangdahlem Air Base

– 52 FW opened European Transportation Training Center; training accessibility increased by 475%

– Participated in Anatolian Eagle exercise

– Supported NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission

– Renovated key wing facilities – command post, fighter squadron briefing rooms, clinic

Aviano Air Base

– 31 FW opened new Professional Military Education facility

– Opened new vehicle maintenance and operations and maintenance facility

– Completed first-ever combined wing NATO strike evaluation with Lakenheath; received Mission Capable rating

– Hosted First Lady of the United States and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force visits


RAF Lakenheath

– 48 FW completed Phase 1 Operational Readiness Exercise

– Opened a referral management center for central processing of internal and external medical network referrals

– Opened F-15C Mission Training Center


RAF Mildenhall

– 100 ARW opened a new child development center

– Completed $9M communications infrastructure upgrade

– Implemented $167K in quality of life improvements around the base

– Created a new dedicated tanker line; increased number of dedicated tankers to each fighter wing by 20 sorties per day


Moron Air Base

– Constructed new $750K fitness and sports center


Ramstein Air Base

– Ramstein AB named top installation in Air Force

– 86 AW opened a new repair facility; improved propeller repair cycle time by 73%

– 86th Airlift Wing acquired a Visual Threat Recognition and Avoidance Trainer

– 37 AS taught the initial cadre of Iraqi AF crews to fly a C-130

– 435 ABW reorganized vehicle operations

– 435 Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility moved more than 3,800 patients

– Installed new Youth Center gym floor and new gymnastics spring floor; implemented $1.7M playground project and Child Development Center revamp

– Had 33% drop in DUIs in Dec 05 – Mar 06 versus Dec 04 – Mar 05

– 703 MUNSS opened a renovated club and dining facility


Lajes Air Base

– 65 ABW supported aircraft moving more than 1.5 million lbs. of cargo and more than 5,200 passengers

– Secured $437,000 funding to replace and repair base’s lightning protection and grounding for air traffic control and landing systems

– Refueled 826 aircraft



– 39 ABW provided logistics support to OIF and Operation Enduring Freedom moving 10,368 pallets and 18,460 short tons of cargo

– Provided air refueling support to OEF: 17,689,000 pounds of fuel, 248 sorties


Our U.S. Air Forces in Europe team has encountered a full spectrum of exciting activities and challenges over the past 100 days. From embracing the impending Air Force manpower restructure to the airlift of Rwandan troops to the Darfur region of the Sudan, our command has been actively engaged in the pursuit of process improvement and ensuring mission success.

The last few months have brought us exercises like Anatolian Eagle in Turkey and Shared Accord in Niger. We’ve deployed approximately 1,600 USAFE Airmen to locations like Iraq and Djibouti in support of the global war on terrorism. Additionally, we’ve worked with our NATO allies to contribute to activities like flying Baltic Air Policing missions. The list of mission accomplishments goes on and on, but the main message that resonates is our USAFE team, along with our joint, coalition and host-nation partners, are dedicated to ensuring freedom’s future across the globe.

While focusing on mission accomplishment, our command has also faced some very challenging manpower issues. From the current force-shaping efforts to the future manpower restructure, we have and will continue to see a lot of “people” and “process” changes on the horizon. Air Force Smart Ops 21 will seek to help us ensure we make the right process improvements while continuing to take care of our people.

As we strive to take care of our people, we have maintained focus on building strong relationships with our host nation and partner countries. USAFE has continued to plan and execute a robust Theater Security Cooperation program that has strengthened our ability to fight cooperatively on a global scale. The dividends are huge, in Operation Iraqi Freedom, 19 of 24 current coalition partners are from the area of responsibility. Our focus is clear; we must continue to invest in the European theater to secure our collective future.

USAFE has a lot to be proud of over the last few months, and I am honored to command and serve with the most experienced, respected and combat-ready forces in the world. I look forward to the next 100 days, and know that we will work to meet any and all challenges together.