As the air component for U.S. European Command, USAFE directs air operations in a theater spanning three continents, covering more than eight million square miles, containing 51 independent states and possessing one-eighth of the world's population and about one-fourth of the world's Gross Domestic Product.
During the Cold War, USAFE was a fight-in-place force postured for a large-scale conflict. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, it has transitioned to an Air Expeditionary Force with a mobile and deployable mix of people and resources that can simultaneously operate in multiple locations. Its role in Europe and Africa has included warfighting as well as humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, and other non-traditional contingencies throughout its area of responsibility.
In peacetime, USAFE trains and equips U.S. Air Force units pledged to NATO. In fulfilling its NATO responsibilities, USAFE maintains combat-ready wings based from Great Britain to Turkey. USAFE plans, conducts, controls, coordinates and supports air and space operations in Europe, parts of Asia and Africa to achieve U.S. national and NATO objectives based on taskings by the U.S. EUCOM commander.
Air Force Mission
The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win...in air, space and cyberspace.
To achieve that mission, the Air Force has a vision:
The United States Air Force will be a trusted and reliable joint partner with our sister services known for integrity in all of our activities, including supporting the joint mission first and foremost. We will provide compelling air, space, and cyber capabilities for use by the combatant commanders. We will excel as stewards of all Air Force resources in service to the American people, while providing precise and reliable Global Vigilance, Reach and Power for the nation.
The Air Force has three core competencies: Developing Airmen, Technology-to-Warfighting and Integrating Operations. These core competencies make our six distinctive capabilities possible:
Air and Space Superiority: With it, joint forces can dominate enemy operations in all dimensions -- land, sea, air and space.
Global Attack: Because of technological advances, the Air Force can attack anywhere, anytime -- and do so quickly and with greater precision than ever before.
Rapid Global Mobility: Being able to respond quickly and decisively anywhere we're needed is key to maintaining rapid global mobility.
Precision Engagement: The essence lies in the ability to apply selective force against specific targets because the nature and variety of future contingencies demand both precise and reliable use of military power with minimal risk and collateral damage.
Information Superiority: The ability of joint force commanders to keep pace with information and incorporate it into a campaign plan is crucial.
Agile Combat Support: Deployment and sustainment are keys to successful operations and cannot be separated. Agile combat support applies to all forces, from those permanently based to contingency buildups to expeditionary forces.
The Air Force bases these core competencies and distinctive capabilities on a shared commitment to three core values -- integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.