USAFE: defenders of democracy

Gen. Tom Hobbins, USAFE Commander and Chief Master Sgt. Gary Coleman
USAFE Command Chief

“History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

USAFE has been entrusted with an incredible responsibility – to defend freedom and democracy.  We’ve performed this mission flawlessly for more than 60 years and continue to rise to the occasion.  Successful transformation, fostering theater security cooperation, and winning the Global War on Terrorism remain our current challenges and are essential to freedom’s future.  

Our job is to deliver full-spectrum options to our Combatant Commander.  To do this, we must transition from a Cold War defensive posture to an expeditionary force that promotes theater-wide security and stability. 
Through both transformation and engagement, USAFE strives to build and strengthen existing partnerships with Eastern European and African nations.  We seek to improve and bolster the security capabilities of those regions – working side-by-side with air forces from every nation within our AOR to establish friendship and trust.  

NATO is also transitioning from a common defense force to a security-focused organization and USAFE moves lock-step with it to ensure we have the collective capability to counter emerging threats.  In cyberspace, we’re tying together more communication nodes to give U.S. and NATO commanders real-time command and control.  We also fly and train with new NATO partners from Romania and Bulgaria.  Our NATO Response Force (NRF) commitments will require this interdependence.  Together, we maximize our individual strengths to achieve common goals.  

Our team’s commitment to excellence knows no boundaries.  Our medical personnel move our sick and injured from the front lines to safety at record-breaking speed.  Our Airmen enable and teach the new Iraqi Air Force.  We assist with humanitarian operations in Africa by transporting Rwandan troops to the troubled Darfur region of Sudan.  We are “Freedom’s Guardians,” and work to ensure a free way of life for people all over the globe.

“Ensuring Freedom’s Future” is more than a catchphrase.  It captures everything we do for our country, our allies, and partner nations.  Enabling robust security and stability in areas of volatility within the global community has never been more important.  Through proactive engagement, we’ll be visible and flexible in order to prevent, deter, and contain emerging threats. 
Just as Eisenhower’s words challenge, we are up to the task.  Our investment today sets the stage for tomorrow’s victory.