Theater security package begins rotation in Europe
By Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 18, 2015
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
The 3rd Air Force commander announced the beginning of the U.S. Air Force's first European theater security package Feb. 18, 2015, at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, 3rd Air Force and 17th Expeditionary Air Force commander, addressed media, local authorities and the 52nd Fighter Wing while welcoming the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at the start of the first European TSP rotation.
According to an initial release by U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, the squadron will fly with NATO allies and support Operation Atlantic Resolve. OAR is a demonstration of U.S. European Command and USAFE-AFAFRICA's continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region.
Twelve U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft and approximately 300 Airmen from the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., are supporting this rotation. The unit will train alongside NATO allies and deploy to locations in Eastern European NATO nations to further enhance interoperability.
"This TSP is a long range, strategic capability to allow the Air Force greater flexibility against evolving threats," Roberson said. "It is not tied to a specific platform or aircraft, but instead is a method of presenting forces at the right time to the right combatant commander. Our abilities must remain agile to sustain and increase regional security."
Depending on mission and EUCOM requirements, rotations of TSPs will generally last six months. While TSP missions are new to Europe, the Air Force has been conducting TSP rotations in the Pacific since 2004.
"This operation will remain a construct here in Europe as long as it is needed," Roberson said. "The Airmen of the 354th EFS are ready to give quick support and quick defense. They will continue to reassure our allies the U.S. commitment to NATO."