Downsizing gets serious in Europe

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SOWT
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SecDef announces that AF/Army/Navy commands in Europe will be downsized; long overdue. FWIW, Navy and AF tried to do this during the Clinton and Bush eras, but USEUCOM Cdr always requested the additional stars stay in theater. My guess is USAFE goes away. We need to do this in the Pacific next.

USAFE Commander to be Three-Star Position: Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced last week that the command billet for US Air Forces in Europe will be for a three-star general in the future and no longer a four-star post. The same applies for the heads of the Army and Navy components of US European Command, he said. It is "no longer necessary to retain four-star service component headquarters for [EUCOM], each of which is too large and too senior given the number of troops they lead and the military operations they oversee," Gates told reporters during a Pentagon briefing discussing Defense Department-wide changes to shed excess overhead. Accordingly, he said, "These commands will be reduced to the three-star level, with concurrent streamlining in the headquarters and personnel staff." Overall, Gates said he intends to eliminate or downgrade more than 80 general- or flag-officer billets across DOD.
 
If I remember correctly that SHAPE CG came with EUCOM CG responsibilities, that means SHAPE is now a three-star billet?
 
It will be interesting to watch because often the savings is taken out of DOD and spent on pet projects that don't mean shit.
Bill
 
Thanks SOWT!

Any comments from the board about the elimination of 80 General Officer positions across DOD?
 
I'm a little upset they can only find 80 to cut.

Congress and the State Dept have to take a hit here.
No one wants a Col or LtCol testifying about a program, must be a GO. Likewise State has DoD doing many diplomatic/political functions and generally requests a multi-starred person.
FWIW- The original request to downgrade the European positions was denied because the EUCOM Cdr said he needed those 4-stars to attend high level political meetings that he would have to attend otherwise. Guess NATO and other folks will have to get used to a lower presence by the US. Overdue.
 
IIRC, the Marine Corps has as many GOs now as it did during WW II, but there are ~200,000 Marines now compared to 1/2 million back then.
 
IIRC, the Marine Corps has as many GOs now as it did during WW II, but there are ~200,000 Marines now compared to 1/2 million back then.

I was told by a much more knowledgeable person than I that that is done across the board so that in a time of need the Military can be rapidly expanded back to WWII size and still have experienced leaders to command.
This was done as a result of the huge expansion of the US Military during WWII that had very inexperienced Officers in command of new units.
 
I was told by a much more knowledgeable person than I that that is done across the board so that in a time of need the Military can be rapidly expanded back to WWII size and still have experienced leaders to command.
This was done as a result of the huge expansion of the US Military during WWII that had very inexperienced Officers in command of new units.

Hmmm...

I guess that makes sense, but it still seems like a waste. Plus, I don't know that I'd call them "experienced" leaders... :D
 
Exactly, I think it had some validity up until the 60's maybe but a complete waste now.

Nothing worse than rank with no real job to do, trouble waiting to happen. I wouldn't mind betting that the micro management of the Military today probably has that to blame, in part at least.
 
I'll throw this out there: Is there a need to have US forces in Europe anymore?

Depends on your definition of need.
Is Russia going to invade the west? I don't think so.
What is the benefit of close Military ties with US forces being in Europe?

NZ should never have left Singapore, despite the commie threat having been removed. .02c
 
Interesting approach being taken by CSAF and SecAF.
USAF and PACAF Hq's will remain, they will take on the operatinal aspects/missions being performed by the numbered Air Force's. The co-located numbered Air Force's go away, the numbered AF @ Randolph also goes away.
They are also looking at combining the AFNORTH and AFSOUTH CAOCs. That'll be interesting to watch.
 
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