As U.S. troops from 173rd Airborne Brigade begin training with Ukrainian counterparts in western Ukraine this week, U.S. Air Force aircraft are training with Romania, The Netherlands and other allied nations like Romania and the Netherlands are counting on their own theater security measures: F-15s in the north, and A-10s in the south.
More European allies are getting their fair share of training with U.S. airmen and aircraft are in Europe for the next few months as part of a theater security package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. The missions, a show of force in the region amid Russia's aggression against Ukraine, are also an opportunity another way to train U.S. troops and allied forces.
"It's not one exercise fits all, it's all based on what the country wants to work on and what they want to exercise and train with us," said Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, commander, 3rd Air Force and 17th Expeditionary Air Force, Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
"[Our rotations] are pretty flexible in the sense that we don't come here initially with a plan that's set and will not change. We come here with a plan to be responsive to countries and their requirements," he told Military Times in a phone interview Monday.
The theater security package, typically a six-month rotation, is using the 12 A-10s in the first rotation because the aircraft were available to deploy for the needed time frame, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in an email in March. Currently at Campia Turzii, Romania, about 300 airmen and support equipment are deployed with the A-10s from the 355th Fighter Wing, based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. The A-10s arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, in February and have also been ; the aircraft was also used for joint terminal attack controller , or JTAC, exercises in England, and worked with Army units in Germany, Roberson said.
As coordinated with different countries, splitting up the aircraft is common. Roberson said that four of the A-10s forward deployed to Namest Air Base, Czech Republic, earlier this month.
add here when they arrived in Europe, where else they have been. and do we know when they will leave and where else they will go?mh
"We do have flexibility, but for the aircraft like the A-10 which has been here a few months, their remaining time is pretty filled up. But for the F-15C, which just arrived, they will also do a similar string of rotations to countries" as needed, Roberson said.
Twelve The 12 F-15s, which arrived at The Netherland's Leeuwarden Air Base this month, will head to Bulgaria next.
Air Force spokesman Jerry Renne said the F-15s and about 220 airmen accompanying the aircraft mostly hail from the Florida and Oregon National Guard.
"They will move forward in parts or pieces throughout the six months, to England to Norway, and there will be more," Roberson said.
As coordinated with different countries, splitting some of the the larger bulk of aircraft to splitting up the aircraft some a handful of aircraftforce ship is common. In a similar fashion. what's a force ship?mh Roberson said that four A-10s forward deployed to Namest Air Base, Czech Republic, earlier this month.
Theater security packages are more robust than ever And this is typical of a TSP: because of the reductions in overseas infrastructure and support, Roberson said TSP packages are more robust than ever.
"These TSP packages have been going on in the Pacific theater since 2004," he said. "This is not a new construct,… but this is a way to bring in some extra airpower to meet combatant commander requirements without it being permanently stationed here in Europe."
Roberson, who took command one year ago after controversy prompted then 3rd Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin to step down over his decision to overturn a military jury's sexual assault conviction of Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, said that he expects that packages like TSPs will continue for the foreseeable future with various aircraft.
"We're focusing more to those countries who really feel it important for us to be there," he said.
Roberson said the methods when working with countries have changed slightly in the sense that exercises used to be a bit bigger, were "coordinated well in advance, and the money was put up in advance, and overall just more structured."
"Now we kind of say, 'Hey, we have this four ship coming through. Would you like to work with us?' And if they're interested, then we sit down and talk about training objectives," he said.
"A little bit of where you sit is where you stand – what I mean by that is, I think the Ccountries that are bordered with Russia have a different feel for the threat than the countries that are farther away," Roberson said. "I would tell you that the folks who are more concerned are the ones who are looking for opportunities to exercise and train more."