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I read comments (not official ones!), that indicate that other units will stay at Spang, which would mean that there is still some need in keeping it open.

 

I personally hope this whole thing will be cancelled, there is obviously NO military benefit in that whole stunt!

 

 

HAJO

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This is very very close to turning into a political discussion.

 

As it is, Germany has been consistently not meeting their obligations under NATO for a long time...and they've been getting a free ride courtesy of the American taxpayers.  There needs to be an honest discussion about that.  Secondly, the existing American base structure in Europe still reflects a strategic orientation against the Warsaw Pact...which ceased to exist almost thirty years ago.  It's time to revisit that orientation and consider realigning our base structure to reflect contemporary strategic considerations.  Frankly, Putin would be much happier if we just stayed in our old cold war bases in Germany rather than relocate our forces to bases in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia or the Ukraine.  To suggest otherwise is a specious argument.

 

Almost four generations of American veterans and their families have served at these existing bases in Europe.  They were, by almost all accounts, great billets to be posted to.  But time, and geopolitics, moves on and there isn't much value in sentimentality.

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13 hours ago, Hajo L. said:

I read comments (not official ones!), that indicate that other units will stay at Spang, which would mean that there is still some need in keeping it open.

 

I personally hope this whole thing will be cancelled, there is obviously NO military benefit in that whole stunt!

 

 

HAJO

What's the benefit to America for staying?

Co-locating the squadron with 2 more in Aviano eases logistics.

Moving Army units into Poland puts them closer to the threat.

Co-locating USEUCOM with NATO HQ (hopefully) allows a reduction in staffing.

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I sat in with a budget committee meeting with TACOM years back on finding ways to reduce product cost. We were working on an eleven percent factor, and in real life were loosing four to five percent that we could have gained from usage of the same square footage for something else. Someone inquired as to why they need to cut costs?

The guy simply said we are supplying welfare to half of Europe in one form or another. He said that there was one base in Germany that had a civilian payroll of $340K a week, and almost that much in weekly costs to the local governments. On the otherhand Rumania offered up air bases (similar) for free, and a civilian wage rate that was a fraction. It almost happened! The next administration squashed the idea due to heavy lobbying and promises they couldn't begin to keep. Looks like it's back on the table again. 

gary

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15 hours ago, Cameron Lynch said:

This is very very close to turning into a political discussion.

 

As it is, Germany has been consistently not meeting their obligations under NATO for a long time...and they've been getting a free ride courtesy of the American taxpayers.  There needs to be an honest discussion about that.  Secondly, the existing American base structure in Europe still reflects a strategic orientation against the Warsaw Pact...which ceased to exist almost thirty years ago.  It's time to revisit that orientation and consider realigning our base structure to reflect contemporary strategic considerations.  Frankly, Putin would be much happier if we just stayed in our old cold war bases in Germany rather than relocate our forces to bases in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia or the Ukraine.  To suggest otherwise is a specious argument.

 

Almost four generations of American veterans and their families have served at these existing bases in Europe.  They were, by almost all accounts, great billets to be posted to.  But time, and geopolitics, moves on and there isn't much value in sentimentality.

Well said, very good points a stated here.

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3 hours ago, Scooby said:

This will damage NATO solidarity and will once again play into Putin’s hands.

 

Is the NATO solidarity building NORD STREAM II together with Putin what Germany are doing now?

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Something else to consider.

German tax court recently ruled that Service Personnel married to German National are liable for German/EU Income Taxes. 

Little things like that add up,  eventually tipping the scales in favor of a move.

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NATO was formed to counter the Soviet Union and what became the Warsaw Pact.  Both of those went away almost thirty years ago.  It certainly is not out of order to rethink U.S. commitments or at the very least question their rationale.  If you're interested in where this is trending I would suggest reading one of Peter Zeihan's books or watching one of his YouTube presentations.  LINK

 

Regards,

Murph

Edited by Murph
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Here is a compilation of several tweets of Mark Hertling, a former US General in command of forces in Europe:

 

"Having just watched the SecDef, Vice CJCS and @US_EUCOM Commander, I am sickened by this decision and explanation.


It is not tied to any strategic advantage, and in fact is counterproductive to showing strength in Europe.

A couple things:

2/
First, what is obvious to me - having served 12 years in Germany and having participated in the last force structure change from 2004-2011, this is not a "strategic" move...it is specifically a directed personal insult from Trump to our great & very supportive ally Germany.
3/
The Headquarters in Stuttgart - both EUCOM and AFRICOM - will take billions of dollars to move, and will disrupt those HQs in their operation. AFRICOM location is "to be determined" because there is no valid answer...consolidating EUCOM w SHAPE in Belgium will be challenging. 4/
As GEN Hyten stated, this will cost more than "a few billion" dollars. During the last force posture change in 2004-2011, billions of dollars were spent to secure and consolidate key locations in Germany...upgrades in base housing, schools, support facilities, HQs, barracks.

5/
Similar facilities - barracks, motor pools, logistics facilities, airfields, railheads - are now required in the areas where rotational troops will deploy. That will cost billions.

One lesson we learned..."rotational forces are more expensive & they don't built trust."
Rotational troops will now require more time away from their families...a key moral issue.

Rotational troops do deploy in increased readiness state, because they spend time at training centers preparing for rotation. More time away from families.
The 2d Stryker Brigade is at Vilseck, a great transport hub for that mobile unit to transit to ANY area (Baltics, Caucasus, Nordic, Poland, etc). They have been doing this for over a decade. Their families are cared for at Vilseck, and time away from families is less.
6/
That training location(within Grafenwoehr, Bavaria) is also a world-class training location for all of NATO and the US. Forces train there, together. This kind of "allied training" not done anywhere in the US Without US troops, it will be hard to maintain that center.
7/
When I commanded at Grafenwoehr as a 1-star, that based was transformed. Over a billion dollars in construction costs for barracks, motor pools, family housing. That was in 2004-6.
8/
Not sure of other Army forces moving out of Germany, but it seems like several large ones. Aviation in Ansbach (move to Belgium, as stated by GEN Wolters?), likely logistics, intel & US Army Europe Headquarters? Many brand new facilities, with a large/new command facility.
9/
BTW, many of the requirements for "new facilites" are the same facilities that were raided of funds when the "border wall efforts" needed funds. It's interesting that those funds were for upgrades for servicability but they will now require more funds for construction.
10/
The move of aircraft from UK to Germany was smart. Moving other USAF units from Germany to Italy doesn't make strategic or operational sense. Italy's flight restrictions & civilian workforce much more challenging to work with than Germany's, and again...more new costs.
11/
Having had to notify families, move units and equipment, and go through the redeployment process will - as GEN Wolters said - take months and years, not weeks.

It is disruptive, and affects readiness...especially when this is all happening without a previous plan. 12/
A couple final comments.

SecDef Esper's statement that he "knows" what it's like because he used to serve in Germany in the 80's is disingenuous. I served in Germany in the 70's, 80's, 90's and first decade of 2000. NATO and forces in Europe aren not how he remembers it.
13/
2d, these actions are primarily:
1. Punishing Merkel & Germany
2. Knee-jerk reaction to Trump vs collaborative US strategy
3. A gift to Russian expansionism & Putin's plan
4. Another wedge for NATO
5. Further disruption of US Military
6. Something Congress should not allow
14/
According to GENs Hyten & Wolters, they will continue to "develop the plan."

It will take months to plan, years to execute.

Congress must see this for what it is, and stop it. 15/15
Sorry, *morale* not moral."

 

 

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1288482803412344840.html

 

 

 

 

Edited by Hajo L.
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2 hours ago, Murph said:

NATO was formed to counter the Soviet Union and what became the Warsaw Pact.  Both of those went away almost thirty years ago.  It certainly is not out of order to rethink U.S. commitments or at the very least question their rationale.  If you're interested in where this is trending I would suggest reading one of Peter Zeihan's books or watching one of his YouTube presentations.  LINK

 

Regards,

Murph


Is that honestly being done? 

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2 hours ago, Hajo L. said:

Here is a compilation of several tweets of Mark Hertling, a former US General in command of forces in Europe:

 

"Having just watched the SecDef, Vice CJCS and @US_EUCOM Commander, I am sickened by this decision and explanation.


It is not tied to any strategic advantage, and in fact is counterproductive to showing strength in Europe.

A couple things:

2/
First, what is obvious to me - having served 12 years in Germany and having participated in the last force structure change from 2004-2011, this is not a "strategic" move...it is specifically a directed personal insult from Trump to our great & very supportive ally Germany.
3/
The Headquarters in Stuttgart - both EUCOM and AFRICOM - will take billions of dollars to move, and will disrupt those HQs in their operation. AFRICOM location is "to be determined" because there is no valid answer...consolidating EUCOM w SHAPE in Belgium will be challenging. 4/
As GEN Hyten stated, this will cost more than "a few billion" dollars. During the last force posture change in 2004-2011, billions of dollars were spent to secure and consolidate key locations in Germany...upgrades in base housing, schools, support facilities, HQs, barracks.

5/
Similar facilities - barracks, motor pools, logistics facilities, airfields, railheads - are now required in the areas where rotational troops will deploy. That will cost billions.

One lesson we learned..."rotational forces are more expensive & they don't built trust."
Rotational troops will now require more time away from their families...a key moral issue.

Rotational troops do deploy in increased readiness state, because they spend time at training centers preparing for rotation. More time away from families.
The 2d Stryker Brigade is at Vilseck, a great transport hub for that mobile unit to transit to ANY area (Baltics, Caucasus, Nordic, Poland, etc). They have been doing this for over a decade. Their families are cared for at Vilseck, and time away from families is less.
6/
That training location(within Grafenwoehr, Bavaria) is also a world-class training location for all of NATO and the US. Forces train there, together. This kind of "allied training" not done anywhere in the US Without US troops, it will be hard to maintain that center.
7/
When I commanded at Grafenwoehr as a 1-star, that based was transformed. Over a billion dollars in construction costs for barracks, motor pools, family housing. That was in 2004-6.
8/
Not sure of other Army forces moving out of Germany, but it seems like several large ones. Aviation in Ansbach (move to Belgium, as stated by GEN Wolters?), likely logistics, intel & US Army Europe Headquarters? Many brand new facilities, with a large/new command facility.
9/
BTW, many of the requirements for "new facilites" are the same facilities that were raided of funds when the "border wall efforts" needed funds. It's interesting that those funds were for upgrades for servicability but they will now require more funds for construction.
10/
The move of aircraft from UK to Germany was smart. Moving other USAF units from Germany to Italy doesn't make strategic or operational sense. Italy's flight restrictions & civilian workforce much more challenging to work with than Germany's, and again...more new costs.
11/
Having had to notify families, move units and equipment, and go through the redeployment process will - as GEN Wolters said - take months and years, not weeks.

It is disruptive, and affects readiness...especially when this is all happening without a previous plan. 12/
A couple final comments.

SecDef Esper's statement that he "knows" what it's like because he used to serve in Germany in the 80's is disingenuous. I served in Germany in the 70's, 80's, 90's and first decade of 2000. NATO and forces in Europe aren not how he remembers it.
13/
2d, these actions are primarily:
1. Punishing Merkel & Germany
2. Knee-jerk reaction to Trump vs collaborative US strategy
3. A gift to Russian expansionism & Putin's plan
4. Another wedge for NATO
5. Further disruption of US Military
6. Something Congress should not allow
14/
According to GENs Hyten & Wolters, they will continue to "develop the plan."

It will take months to plan, years to execute.

Congress must see this for what it is, and stop it. 15/15
Sorry, *morale* not moral."

 

 

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1288482803412344840.html

 

 

 

 

I agree. If it were strategic decision those forces should have been moved to Poland or the Baltic states, some place closer to Russia.  Not literally over the ocean or down to Italy. And also it doesn’t make sense to me that you would close down a base when really you should be opening more up so that you have more options just Incase a conflict does break out.  From what I read the vast majority won’t even be stationed in Europe. I know some will be send back on a rotational basis but not all will be there. Over all I think this is a win for Russia and weakens NATO’s poster over all.  Not something you want with a emboldened Putin.   

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18 minutes ago, achterkirch said:

I agree. If it were strategic decision those forces should have been moved to Poland or the Baltic states, some place closer to Russia.  Not literally over the ocean or down to Italy. And also it doesn’t make sense to me that you would close down a base when really you should be opening more up so that you have more options just Incase a conflict does break out.  From what I read the vast majority won’t even be stationed in Europe. I know some will be send back on a rotational basis but not all will be there. Over all I think this is a win for Russia and weakens NATO’s poster over all.  Not something you want with a emboldened Putin.   


Ans it would not be made overnight, it takes years of planning and discussion. The entire scenario is odd. The timing is questionable too.

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Strategic landscapes change, weapons change, geopolitics changes....it is not unreasonable to ask if we need to continue holding a presence we’ve held for almost 80 years, at extreme cost. Particularly when deterrence can be accomplished using more modern methods than massive forward bases in foreign countries.

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29 minutes ago, ElectroSoldier said:

I thought political talks werent allowed in this forum.

They're not!  The replies of a political nature were removed.  As will any others that pop up. Report them if you see them.

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And people think a new administration will change this? After the debt countries will accumulate to pay for COVID(CV) I have a feeling the new administration will decrease the U.S military to a size that will

make any branch be like the coast guard.

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58 minutes ago, USAFsparkchaser said:

And people think a new administration will change this? After the debt countries will accumulate to pay for COVID(CV) I have a feeling the new administration will decrease the U.S military to a size that will

make any branch be like the coast guard.

Valid point, the new administration will undoubtedly be making cuts in defense (as will pretty much all other countries).   However, even if the US military budget was cut in half (completely impossible), the US would still, by far, have the largest military on the planet.    

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Basing decisions re rarely strategic these days.

 

Budget drives strategy.  Slowly, surely, the AF and Army are being pushed into  overseas rotations vice basing as it's ultimately cheaper.

 

Spangdahlem will stay open with a non-flying host and units rotating in/out.

 

Moving F-16's will eventually save money.

 

Moving Hq's to Belgium will save manpower slots (Futures Command is gobbling positions).

 

Open/on-line sources say some SOF will move to Poland, which makes better sense from a security and tactical perspective.

 

We shall see.

 

Edited by Da SWO
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On 7/31/2020 at 6:25 PM, Scooby said:


Ans it would not be made overnight, it takes years of planning and discussion. The entire scenario is odd. The timing is questionable too.

actually you need to be thinking less than six months. My daughter was the head of the team that did most all base closings in Europe, and she told me 90 days was easy to do.

gary

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9 hours ago, Da SWO said:

Basing decisions re rarely strategic these days.

 

Budget drives strategy.  Slowly, surely, the AF and Army are being pushed into  overseas rotations vice basing as it's ultimately cheaper.

 

Spangdahlem will stay open with a non-flying host and units rotating in/out.

 

Moving F-16's will eventually save money.

 

Moving Hq's to Belgium will save manpower slots (Futures Command is gobbling positions).

 

Open/on-line sources say some SOF will move to Poland, which makes better sense from a security and tactical perspective.

 

We shall.

 

dead right sir! 

gary

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So Im not going to touch on the politics of the situation because I come here to get away from that crap.

 

I guess this marks the end of an era for Spangdahlem.

It will be interesting to see where the jets end up going, maybe they will be moved to other bases around Europe.
Do you think there is any chance of those jets being moved to the UK? Or is it more likely they will go to Aviano in Italy?

Personally I will always remember Spangdahlem for its Hunter Killer pairing of F-4G and F-16C. I think the first F-4G I ever saw was from there.

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47 minutes ago, ElectroSoldier said:

So Im not going to touch on the politics of the situation because I come here to get away from that crap.

 

I guess this marks the end of an era for Spangdahlem.

It will be interesting to see where the jets end up going, maybe they will be moved to other bases around Europe.
Do you think there is any chance of those jets being moved to the UK? Or is it more likely they will go to Aviano in Italy?

Personally I will always remember Spangdahlem for its Hunter Killer pairing of F-4G and F-16C. I think the first F-4G I ever saw was from there.

Aviano 100%, not sure if there's enough room for the 480th to join the 31stFW. 

Would be surprised if they replace one of the current Blk40s Sqn with the Blk50s and take on the SEAD role freeing up a bunch of Blk40's for the ANG to use. 

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