USAFE reactivates 3rd Air Force

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Chad Padgett
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs
The 3rd Air Force reactivated today in a ceremony here.

Lieutenant Gen. Rod Bishop was happy to take command as the 3rd AF Commander.

"My last three job titles have begun with deputy, assistant or vice. I am personally delighted and humbled to be here this morning with that modifier gone," said General Bishop during the ceremony.

The new 3rd AF, which has more than 1,400 members, includes the 603rd Air and Space Operations Center, the 603rd Support Group, the 4th Air Support Operations Group and former members of the 16th Air Force.

The 3rd Air Force will continue planning combat and humanitarian operations in the U.S. Air Forces in Europe area of responsibility, which includes Europe and Africa, but it will also conduct day-to-day operations for USAFE and European Command to organize, train and equip Airmen for the functions they could be called upon to accomplish around the world.

"We'll be busy planning and exercising to be able to respond to a conflict or a humanitarian mission in this part of the world," General Bishop said during an interview with the Kaiserslautern American. "And one of the additional things that will also be on our plate is for the headquarters to plan and train in order to be able to lead a joint task force."

While the 16th AF inactivated today, it will continue to exist through the 16th Air Expeditionary Task Force at Izmir Air Base, Turkey. This allows the Air Force to continue the proud legacy and service of both the 3rd and 16th Air Forces.

Major Gen. Marc Rogers will take General Bishop's place as the USAFE vice commander.