Friday, May 22, 2009

Combat Air Forces restructure plan also propose some A-10 fleet changes

by Joachim Jacob

Two days ago, U.S. Air Force officials announced a Combat Air Forces restructure plan, following the May 7 roll-out of the fiscal year 2010 budget proposal for the Department of Defense. Related to details, provided by Stars and Stripes (a DoD publication) this plan could affect the current A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet as follows:

47th Fighter Squadron, 917th Wing (ACC), Barksdale AFB, Louisiana
- 3 A-10s (retains 21 aircraft)

355th Fighter Wing (ACC), Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona
- 6 A-10s (retains 72 aircraft)

163rd Fighter Squadron, 122nd Fighter Wing (Indiana ANG), Fort Wayne ANGB, Indiana
+ 18 A-10s (-18 F-16s)

23rd Fighter Group, 23rd Wing (ACC), Moody AFB, Georgia
- 6 A-10s (retains 42 aircraft)

25th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Wing (PACAF), Osan AB, Republic of Korea (ROK)
- 3 A-10s

303rd Fighter Squadron, 442nd Fighter Wing (AFRC), Whiteman AFB, Missouri
- 3 A-10s

As a result of - and +, only three unknown A-10s would be really retire.

Related info:

AF officials announce Combat Air Forces restructure plan

5/20/2009 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Following the May 7 roll-out of the fiscal year 2010 budget proposal for the Department of Defense, Air Force officials announced plans to retire legacy fighters to fund a smaller and more capable force and redistribute people for higher priority missions.

The Combat Air Forces restructuring plan would accelerate the retirement of approximately 250 aircraft, which includes 112 F-15 Eagles, 134 F-16 fighting Falcons and three A-10 Thunderbolt IIs. This does not include the five fighters previously scheduled for retirement in FY10.

"We have a strategic window of opportunity to do some important things with fighter aircraft restructuring," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley. "By accepting some short-term risk, we can convert our inventory of legacy fighters and F-22 (Raptors) into a smaller, more flexible and lethal bridge to fifth-generation fighters like the F-35 (Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter). We'll also add manpower to capabilities needed now for operations across the spectrum of conflict."

Under the plan, cost savings of $355 million in FY10 and $3.5 billion over the next five fiscal years would be used to reduce current capability gaps. Air Force officials would invest most of the funds in advanced capability modifications to remaining fighters and bombers. Some would go toward procuring munitions for joint warfighters, including the small diameter bomb, hard-target weapons and the AIM-120D and AIM-9X missiles. The remainder would be dedicated to the procurement or sustainment of critical intelligence capabilities such as the advanced targeting pod as well as enabling technologies for tactical air controllers and special operations forces.

"We've taken this major step only after a careful assessment of the current threat environment and our current capabilities," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. "Make no mistake, we can't stand still on modernizing our fighter force. The Air Force's advantage over potential adversaries is eroding, and this endangers both air and ground forces alike unless there is a very significant investment in bridge capabilities and fifth-generation aircraft. CAF restructuring gets us there."

The CAF restructuring plan, which will require appropriate environmental analyses, would enable Air Force officials to use reassignment and retraining programs to move approximately 4,000 manpower authorizations to emerging and priority missions such as manned and unmanned surveillance operations and nuclear deterrence operations.

This realignment would include the expansion of MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper and MC-12 Liberty aircrews; the addition of a fourth active-duty B-52 Stratofortress squadron; and the expansion of Distributed Common Ground System and information processing, exploitation and dissemination capabilities for continued combatant commander support in Afghanistan and Iraq, among other adjustments.

Secretary Donley and General Schwartz have committed the Air Force to initiatives that will reinvigorate its nuclear enterprise and field 50 unmanned combat air patrols for ongoing operations by FY11.

"What we're looking for is a force mix that meets the current mission requirements of combatant commanders while providing a capable force to meet tomorrow's challenges," Secretary Donley said.


Air Force proposal aims to eliminate 250 fighter jets

By Kent Harris, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany would lose 18 F-16s — and possibly one of its three fighter squadrons — in a plan the Air Force announced Tuesday to eliminate about 250 fighter jets from its inventory.

The move, tied to the service's desire to free up more money for next-generation aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicle operations, would save $355 million in fiscal 2010 and $3.5 billion over the next five years, according to an Air Force news release.

"We have a strategic window of opportunity to do some important things with fighter aircraft restructuring," Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley was quoted as stating in the release. "By accepting some short-term risk, we can convert our inventory of legacy fighters and F-22s into a smaller, more flexible and lethal bridge to fifth-generation fighters like the F-35."

The service would retire 112 F-15s, 134 F-16s and three A-10s under the Combat Air Forces proposal. Five additional fighter aircraft already had been designated to go out of service in the next fiscal year, which begins in October.

The Air Force has three bases with fighter squadrons in Europe: Spangdahlem, Aviano in Italy and RAF Lakenheath in England. Aviano was not listed among bases that would lose aircraft under the proposal, but Lakenheath would have six fewer F-15s.

The 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem currently has about 42 F-16CJs, according to information provided in the release. The 81st Fighter Squadron flies A-10 Thunderbolt IIs. The F-16s are flown by the 22nd Fighter Squadron and 23rd Fighter Squadron. A loss of 43 percent of the jets might indicate the loss of one of the squadrons. But 2nd Lt. Kathleen Polesnak, chief of public affairs for the wing, said that's speculation.

"At this point, we really don't know [what the picture] will be like," she said, noting that there are a number of variables that could come into play if the proposal becomes reality.

Lakenheath has three fighter squadrons: the 492nd, 493rd and 494th. The 493rd flies F-15Cs and the other two F-15Es. The 493rd would lose six of its F-15Cs under the proposal, and retain 18 jets. The other two squadrons would not be affected.

"We would not lose a squadron," said Capt. Alysia Harvey, a 48th Fighter Wing spokeswoman.

Spangdahlem wouldn't be taking the biggest hit around the globe under the proposal. Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida would lose 48 F-15s — about two-thirds of its force. Hill Air Force Base in Utah and Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska would lose two dozen aircraft as well. Elmendorf is in line to receive 36 F-22s, though, and Hill is seen as a candidate for the other next-generation fighter, the F-35.

In total, the moves could free up 4,000 personnel slots that the service could shift to operations such as unmanned aerial vehicles and nuclear deterrence, according to the release. The Air Force would also establish a fourth active-duty B-52 squadron and invest in upgraded systems and munitions for its remaining fleets.

Associated list (captured as a picture):


No comments:

Post a Comment