|USAFE Celebrates 59th Birthday |
USAFE Celebrates 59th Birthday
By Captain Elizabeth A. Ortiz, USAFE News Service.
Ramstein Air Base, Germany -- January 17, 2001 (USAFENS) -- U.S. Air Forces in Europe, the oldest Air Force major command still active, celebrates its 59th anniversary January 19th.
From the days of Eighth Air Force in 1942 to the present, USAFE has etched an illustrious history. It directed the United States' strategic bombing campaign against Axis Europe, significantly contributing to Allied victory in World War II. After the war, it operated the famous Berlin Airlift.
"Although USAFE has changed considerably since its creation in 1942, its mission has remained constant: to defend freedom and democracy in Europe and adjacent regions," said Dr. Jay H. Smith, command historian.
The end of the Cold War did not slow USAFE's operational pace. In 1991, the command deployed 15 percent of its personnel, 55 percent of its aircraft and 33 percent of its munitions in support of coalition forces opposing Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Today, a decade later, USAFE personnel continue to participate in operations to enforce "no-fly" zones in both northern and southern Iraq.
By the mid 1990s, USAFE had become heavily involved in Yugoslavia. It participated in NATO's Operation Deny Flight to enforce a United Nations "no-fly" zone over Bosnia, and USAFE also proved a mainstay in NATO's Operation Deliberate Force by helping to bring the opposing parties to the peace table in 1995.
USAFE went to war again in March 1999, when NATO launched air attacks on Yugoslavia to halt military action in Kosovo and compel the Yugoslav government to accept an international settlement of the Kosovo dispute. In addition, USAFE played a leading role in Joint Task Force Shining Hope, providing immediate humanitarian relief to more than 450,000 Kosovar Albanian refugees in Albania and Macedonia.
"As the command celebrates its 59th birthday, it continues to build on the achievements of the tens of thousands of talented and dedicated professionals who have served in its ranks," said Gen. Gregory S. Martin, commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe. "Our legacy of superior airpower and mission success in Europe continue, at the dawn of the 21st century and beyond."
In a message to Gen. Martin, Gen. John P. Jumper, the commander of Air Combat Command and former commander of U.S. Forces in Europe, expressed his congratulations to the men and women of USAFE as well as best wishes for continued success.
-- USAFENS --