United States Air Force in France

United States Air Force In France

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United States Air Force in France

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During the early years of the Cold War, the United States Air Force deployed thousands of personnel and hundreds of combat aircraft to France to counter the buildup of Soviet forces in Eastern Europe.

The Cold War that developed in Europe during 1948 and escalated into the attempted seizure of West Berlin, convinced the western nations to form a common defense organization. Discussions led to a multinational defense agreement that evolved into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). A central NATO defense strategy was the use of tactical air power to offset the Soviet Union.

Due to the vulnerability of West Germany to Soviet attack, USAF planners did not want any new tactical air units moved into the US "Zone of Occupation" there. By 1950 , the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE) wanted all tactical air units to be located west of the Rhine River to provide greater air defense warning time and France agreed to provide air base sites.

Between 1950 and 1967 the United States Air Force operated 11 major air bases in France. They were:



There were other communications sites, NATO Dispersed Operating Bases, Sub-Depots and minor facilities at several French...
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