US to move F16 fighters from Germany to Italy

Aviano AFB will become the new home of Spangdahlem AFB combat aircraft.

USAF F16 move Spangdahlem Aviano
Spangdahlem F16 fighters. They will soon be relocated from Germany to Italy as per the recent White House decision.

On July 29, 2020, the US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced the White House's plans to cut US military forces in Germany.

According to plans, the number of troops in Germany will be reduced by 12,000, the command of U.S. forces in Europe will be moved from Stuttgart to Belgium and the F-16 fighter-bomber of the 52nd Fighter Wing based in Spangdahlem will be moved to Aviano, Italy.

The media describe this decision as a punitive act towards Berlin that refuses to increase the defense budget against Trump's will. It also appears that the US State Department has been very upset by Germany's choice to buy non-American weapons. The German government has decided to replace most of the Luftwaffe Tornado bombers with the European-made Eurofighter Typhoon (90) and just few of them with the Boeing Super Hornet/Growler (30+15).

Aviano was chosen as the new base for Spangdahlem fighters as it already hosts USAF F16s and has all the personnell and facilities needed to accomodate Lockheed Martin's aircraft. However, this choice could be temporary because the intent of the White House is to focus the American military presence in Eastern Europe, to protect the Baltic and Black Sea, and Romania could become the best and final destination.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: USAF

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