KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The outgoing commander of Spangdahlem Air Base’s 52nd Fighter Wing said the base would likely continue to deal with a high number of deployments along with Air Force-wide personnel cuts.

Col. Darryl Roberson touted the way airmen have been able to support the war with so few people as the wing’s biggest achievement during his tenure. After nearly two years as wing commander, he will depart his post during a ceremony Wednesday at the base’s Hangar 1.

“We don’t have a lot of extra of anything, especially people,” he said. “So for us to be able to do the mission the way that it has been done over the last two years, I think, is our biggest accomplishment.”

Since 2006, hundreds of airmen have deployed from Spangdahlem to Iraq, Afghanistan and other points south and east much like other bases across Europe. During that time, the Air Force has trimmed thousands of airmen from the ranks, forcing squadrons to have to find ways to do the same missions with fewer people.

“We’re not unique, but, boy, what a challenge,” Roberson said.

He added that his replacement would have to continue with the high number of deployments in addition to plans to reorganize some squadrons and close Bitburg Air Base — a separate base that is home to many of the airmen who work at Spangdahlem Air Base.

Roberson, a pilot with more than 4,300 flight hours, is leaving to become the wing commander at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Col. Lee Wight, director of staff and U.S. senior national representative for Allied Air Component Command at Ramstein, will replace him, but not for several months. In the meantime, Col. Thomas Feldhausen, the wing’s vice commander, will serve as interim commander.

In addition to deploying airmen downrange, Roberson said the wing has also been able to slash the number of drunken driving and alcohol-related incidents.

In the last year, the wing has reduced the number of arrests for driving under the influence by 47 percent and cut the number of alcohol-related incident by 60 percent. The wing has emphasized the effects of drinking and driving on careers and has instituted programs to make it as easy as possible for people to drink responsibly.

“I’m very proud of that because that takes a lot of work, a lot of concerted effort by squadron commanders and our supervisors throughout the wing to make that happen,” he said.

The wing — which has about 5,500 active-duty military personnel and civilian employees — is home to two F-16 squadrons and an A-10 squadron in addition to serving as an airlift hub.

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