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US Air Forces in Europe: The 1980s (Paperback)

Aviation Post WWII Aviation Photographic Books 20th Century

By Kevin Wright
Imprint: Key Publishing
Series: Air Forces
Pages: 96
ISBN: 9781802820355
Published: 31st October 2022


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The US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) rapidly expanded its presence in the 1980s, as it became the most dangerous decade of the Cold War. Most controversially, a new generation of intermediate-range nuclear weapons was deployed by both sides. As tensions between the East and West escalated, a new generation of aircraft arrived at bases across Western Europe – state of the art F-15 Eagle air superiority fighters were followed by the A 10 tank busters and the multi-role F-16 Fighting Falcons. Illustrated with over 180 images, this book examines the aircraft and bases of the USAFE during the 1980s. It also describes the vital support provided by other arms of the USAF, including Military Airlift Command’s transport and tanker fleet. The part played by Strategic Air Command’s iconic SR-71s, U-2s, and giant B-52 bombers is outlined, as is the role of Tactical Air Command, which would have rapidly reinforced USAFE in time of war.

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About Kevin Wright

Having taught Cold War history, international security and politics at the University of Essex, Kevin Wright is also a regular contributor to several UK aviation magazines. Publications have included books on Cold War aerial intelligence, articles on contemporary topics such as Bundeswehr Special Forces, Finnish Air Force F-18 operations and many others. His lifelong interest in military aviation coupled with aerial photographic work make him well qualified to examine and evaluate Cold War aerial intelligence collection.

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