U.S. forces in Europe are getting smarter and more flexible. But they still lack firepower.
That's one problem that U.S. Air Force general Tod Wolters, the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, described in a wide-ranging interview that Air Force magazine published in April 2019.
The U.S. military is shifting its focus toward preparing for great-power conflict, and on the ground in Europe, where heightened tensions with Russia have a number of countries worried about renewed conflict.
That includes new attention to short-range air-defense — a capability needed against an adversary that could deploy ground-attack aircraft, especially helicopters, and contest control of the air during a conflict.
Ten years after the two countries fought a short but deeply formative war, Russia is quietly seizing more territory on a disputed border with Georgia as it warns NATO against admitting the tiny Eurasian nation as a member state.
The U.S. Marine Corps' Black Sea Rotational Force left its base in Romania for training in Bulgaria this month, carrying out exercises that are another sign the U.S. military is preparing for a kind of conflict that's different from what it has faced in recent decades.