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United States Air Forces Africa
USAFE - Senior Enlisted Leadership in Action.jpg
Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Command Senior Enlisted Leader, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. James E. Davis, Kenya Air Force Base Sgt. Major Maurice Atsango Matwang'a (right) and Kenya Army Weapons Training Sgt. Major David Karisa Barisa discuss a personnel inspection they just completed.
Active 1 October 2008 - Present
Country  United States
Branch Flag of the United States Air Force.png  United States Air Force
Garrison/HQ Ramstein Air Base, Germany
Emblem of United States Air Forces Africa US Air Forces Africa (emblem).png

United States Air Forces Africa is the air component of USAFRICOM, U.S. Air Forces Africa (USAFAF). Headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany USAFAF conducts sustained security engagement and operations to promote air safety, security, and development in Africa.

USAFAF and the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE-AFAF) directs air operations in a theater spanning three continents, covering more than 19 million square miles, containing 105 independent states, and possessing more than a quarter of the world's population and more than a quarter of the world's Gross Domestic Product.

Overview[edit | edit source]

U.S. Air Forces Africa, located at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, is combined with U.S. Air Forces in Europe and is the air component for the Department of Defense unified command - U.S. Africa Command located at Stuttgart, Germany.

During the Cold War, USAFE-AFAF was a fight-in-place fighter 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 expanded from warfighting to include humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, as well as other non-traditional contingencies throughout its area of responsibility.

AFAFRICA's includes at least two air expeditionary groups. The 449th Air Expeditionary Group, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti provides combat search and rescue for the Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa. It consists of HC-130Ps from the 81st Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, and pararescuemen from the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron.

The 404th Air Expeditionary Group is co-located with AFAFRICA at Ramstein. During contingency operations, the group forward-deploys to facilitate air and support operations for varied missions on the continent, ranging from humanitarian airlift to presidential support. The 404 AEG deployed to Rwanda in January 2009 to provide airlift for peacekeeping equipment in support of the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur. In July 2009, the 404 AEG deployed to Ghana to provide aerial port and aircraft maintenance teams, along with forward communications, early warning and air domain safety and security elements for U.S. President Barack Obama's visit.

17th Air Force was inactivated in April 2012 as part of an Air Force cost savings effort.[1] United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) assumed the former staff functions of 17th Air Force, while the 3rd Air Force and the 603rd Air and Space Operations Center (603 AOC) assumed responsibility for USAFRICOM air operations, with the 603 AOC absorbing the former 617th Air Operations Center.[2]

With 17th Air Force's inactivation, Third Air Force became USAFE's component numbered air force for U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command. Based at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, 3d Air Force directs all USAFE forces engaged in contingency and wartime operations in the EUCOM and AFRICOM areas of responsibility. Along with its headquarters operations directorate, the command includes 10 wings, two groups, and the 603rd Air and Space Operations Center.

References[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External links[edit | edit source]

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