STUTTGART, Germany, February 11, 2015 —
The Air Force has deployed 12 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, as part of a theater security package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, U.S. European Command officials announced yesterday.
About 300 airmen and support equipment are deploying with the A-10s from the 355th Fighter Wing, based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.
“While in Germany, these aircraft will forward-deploy to locations in Eastern European NATO nations,” said Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, Eucom spokesman. “Units will conduct training alongside our NATO allies to strengthen interoperability and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security and stability of Europe."
Demonstration of Continued Commitment
Operation Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of U.S. European Command’s and U.S. Air Forces in Europe's continued commitment to NATO’s collective security and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region, officials said.
"The Air Force has been rotating forces as a part of OAR for the past year," said Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom Jones, vice commander of USAFE and Air Forces Africa. "The [theater security package] is another way the Air Force is increasing rotational presence in Europe to reassure our allies and partner nations that our commitment to European security is a priority."
The Air Force's forward presence in Europe provides the support infrastructure needed to increase the current force and build new and deeper partnerships across the continent, Jones added.
The A-10s are the first of several theater security package deployments to Europe, officials said, adding that rotations generally will last six months, depending on mission and Eucom requirements.
Although this deployment is a first in Europe, officials said, the Air Force has been conducting similar theater support rotations in the Pacific region since 2004.