• Air Force to Grade Installations on Military Value

    Air Force to Grade Installations on Military Value0

    With the timing of a new BRAC round uncertain, the Air Force has decided to conduct its own evaluations of its installations that possibly could be used to assign missions or prioritize investments in facilities. “We need a better understanding of the military value of our installations and to do some more strategic thinking about where to invest our limited resources,” Richard Hartley, principal deputy assistant secretary for installations, environment and energy, told the Defense Communities 2016 National Summit last week. “We don’t know exactly how we’re going to use this analysis yet …

  • Five Bases in Running to Host KC-46As, Air Force Says

    Five Bases in Running to Host KC-46As, Air Force Says0

    The Air Force on Thursday announced the names of five candidate bases to host the second active duty-led wing of KC-46A Pegasus aerial tankers — Dover AFB, Del.; Fairchild AFB, Wash.; Grand Forks AFB, N.D.; Travis AFB, Calif.; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. The installation selected wouldn’t start receiving the next generation air refueling tanker until fiscal 2020. Air Mobility Command will soon conduct detailed, on-the-ground site surveys of each candidate base, assessing each location against operational requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, housing, infrastructure and manpower …

  • Air Force Considering 18 National Guard Sites to Host F-35A Squadrons

    Air Force Considering 18 National Guard Sites to Host F-35A Squadrons0

    The Air Force has identified 18 sites it will consider in its search for two Air National Guard bases to host F-35A Lightning II squadrons, officials said Wednesday. The two Guard installations are scheduled to receive their first aircraft in the summer of 2022. Air Combat Command and the Air National Guard will conduct site surveys at each candidate location in an effort to narrow the list to four sites, spokesman Capt. Mark Graff told the Wisconsin State Journal. At that point, the service will conduct environmental impact analyses before making a final decision …

  • Committee Weighs in on Air Force Criteria for Basing RPA Units0

    While praising the Air Force’s stationing process for new units and missions, the House Armed Services Committee lists the factors it believes the service should consider when making basing decisions for remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) units, according to language in the committee report accompanying the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill. The Air Force should assess: the ability of a military installation and its associated or adjacent training areas to support the unit or mission; the capacity of a military installation to accommodate the unit or mission; the costs associated with the stationing, basing or laydown action; and encroachment and environmental considerations. “Further, the committee is supportive of basing criteria that leverage available Air Force infrastructure and existing quality of life and base support facilities, and pairs RPA units with related missions,” the committee states. More generally, the committee said it was supportive of the Air Force’s strategic basing process as it “provides a thorough, consistent and transparent process for basing decisions.”

  • Navy Considers Virginia, Florida Sites for UAS Mission

    Navy Considers Virginia, Florida Sites for UAS Mission0

    The Navy is considering two of its bases in Florida — Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville and Naval Air Station Key West — and NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore as candidates to become the East Coast home base for the next generation of surveillance unmanned aerial systems. The base would host launch and recovery operations for the still-under-development MQ-4C Triton as well as a maintenance facility, reported Delmarva Now. The base would be home to four unmanned aircraft with room for up to four more undergoing maintenance …

  • Air Force to Identify Candidates to Host RPA Units

    Air Force to Identify Candidates to Host RPA Units0

    The Air Force plans to look for candidate bases to host a possible new MQ-9 Reaper wing with units of the remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) housed at up to two locations, officials announced Tuesday. Only active-duty Air Force bases in the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii that do not currently have an MQ-9 wing are eligible to host one of the units, according to a news release. The Air Force first will identify a location to host an operations group with mission control elements. To be considered, candidates must have an active-duty flying wing or group that performs at least one core RPA mission or is co-located with an active-duty distributed ground system …