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Press Release – Spangdahlem to continue presence in the Eifel


On July 29, 2020, the Secretary of Defense announced plans for a reduction of forces in Germany by 11,900 personnel, redistributing forces across the European theater through both permanent stationing and rotating deployments from the United States.

Our 480th Fighter Squadron and 52d Civil Engineer Squadron were named to be repositioned to Italy, moving them closer to the Black Sea region and increasing their capability to conduct dynamic force employments and rotational deployments in the region.

“We want our Airmen and their families to know that any service members that do move will be informed of re-stationing decisions well in advance in order to allow time to prepare,” said U.S Air Force Col. David Epperson, 52nd Fighter Wing commander. “Additionally, many people have expressed concern that if the fighter squadron moves, the installation will close. This is not the case. Currently, there are no plans to close Spangdahlem, and our Wing still has an essential mission to fulfill with or without the Fighter Squadron located at our installation.”

The mission at Spangdahlem goes beyond the “fighter” aspect. The mission statement of the 52nd FW is “to provide full spectrum airpower to joint and allied commanders.”

Other mission sets include providing credible deterrence for NATO, facilitating inter-theater airlift, building partnership capacity, and joint reception, staging, onward movement and integration. The majority of the Airmen assigned to the 52nd FW support these aspects of the mission and will not be moving from Spangdahlem.

“The mission here is not ending with the relocation of the fighter squadron or any other units that might be impacted by this change in direction,” said Epperson. “We remain committed to our friends and partners in the local community who have supported our presence in the Eifel for decades, and look forward to continuing to build those relationships.”

Some changes will take place soon. Some will take several years. No current orders to PCS to Europe will be cancelled. Service members will be informed of re-stationing decisions well in advance in order to prepare themselves and their families for their move.