SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany — The 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron completed its theater security package mission throughout Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve July 31, 2015.
The squadron’s 12 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft and approximately 300 Airmen from the 355th Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, forward-deployed to Eastern European locations and conduct flying training alongside NATO allies with the goal of strengthening interoperability and enhancing regional security.
Operation Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of U.S. European Command and United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa’s continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region.
“This TSP is a long range, strategic capability to allow the Air Force greater flexibility against evolving threats,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, then-3rd Air Force and 17th Expeditionary Air Force commander, during the Feb. 18, 2015, announcement of the TSP at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. “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.”
The 354th EFS participated in 21 exercises, compiling more than 1,500 sorties and nearly 2,700 flight hours while engaging with 22 countries as part of their deployment.
“To the men and women of the 354th EFS, you are a part of an important mission,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Hayde, 354th EFS commander, during his first address to the squadron during a May 15, 2015, change of command ceremony at Campia Turzii, Romania. “That mission has taken this squadron around Europe. We have trained together with our NATO allies. We have forward deployed to multiple locations and proven we can deploy munitions in close proximity to friendly troops in any weather, day or night.”
Although a first in Europe, the Air Force has been conducting similar TSP rotations in the Pacific region since 2004.
“These Airmen and A-10s of the 354th EFS provide a strategic symbol as they represent U.S. commitment to European security and stability,” said Roberson during an April 17, 2015, media event at Campia Turzii.
The squadron’s aircraft and Airmen will return home to Davis-Monthan after deploying out of Spangdahlem since Feb. 13, 2015.
“As our adopted sisters and brothers of the 354th EFS Bulldogs redeploy home, they can be proud of the hard work they’ve put in and all they’ve accomplished toward assuring our NATO allies and enhancing our collective combat capability and readiness,” said Col. Joe McFall, 52nd Fighter Wing commander. “As the first unit to deploy in support of Europe’s first TSP, they’ve set the bar for future TSP units on effective partnering with our allies to ensure the safety and stability of the alliance. Moreover, they have done so with class and a can-do attitude while operating at multiple locations with the leanest of support. A huge thanks for a job well done!”