As the air component for U.S. European Command (EUCOM), USAFE directs air operations in a theater spanning three continents, covering more than eight million square miles, containing 51 independent states, and possessing one-eighth of the world's population and about one-fourth of the world's Gross Domestic Product.
During the Cold War, USAFE 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.
In peacetime, USAFE trains and equips U.S. Air Force units pledged to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).