• Four Bases in Running to Host F-35A Reserve Units

    Four Bases in Running to Host F-35A Reserve Units0

    The Air Force will consider four locations — Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.; Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla.; Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas; and Whiteman AFB, Mo. — as candidates for the first Reserve-led F-35A Lightning II units, officials said Tuesday. The service expects to select the preferred and reasonable alternatives in the fall, with the fifth-generation fighter aircraft slated to begin arriving at the first location by the summer of 2023 …

  • Landing F-35A Squadrons to Trigger Construction Boom at Eielson AFB

    Landing F-35A Squadrons to Trigger Construction Boom at Eielson AFB0

    The Air Force will need to spend up to $500 million at Eielson Air Force Base over the next five years to prepare the installation to host two squadrons of F-35A Lightning IIs. Eielson will need new hangars, munitions igloos and recreational facilities, along with an upgraded south entrance, following the Air Force’s decision earlier this week to base its first operational overseas F-35As at the installation located 26 miles south of Fairbanks. Officials are planning 46 construction, remodeling and demolition projects between this fall and the scheduled arrival of the first jets in 2020 …

  • Two F-35A Squadrons Coming to Eielson AFB, under Record of Decision

    Two F-35A Squadrons Coming to Eielson AFB, under Record of Decision0

    Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, will be the home of the Air Force’s first operational overseas F-35A Lightning IIs starting in 2020, under the record of decision the service signed Monday. “Alaska combines a strategically important location with a world-class training environment. Basing the F-35s at Eielson AFB will allow the Air Force the capability of using the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC) for large-force exercises using a multitude of ranges and maneuver areas in Alaska,” Secretary Deborah Lee James said in a news release. The base, located outside of Fairbanks, is projected to receive two squadrons of F-35As, which will join the F-16 Fighting Falcon Aggressor Squadron currently assigned to Eielson …

  • Army to Establish Air Defense Unit at White Sands

    Army to Establish Air Defense Unit at White Sands0

    The Army will station a 143-soldier air defense artillery test detachment at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced this week. Heinrich has focused on bringing an active-duty presence to White Sands to “take full advantage of the facilities and unparalleled testing and training environment New Mexico has to offer,” according to a release. “At a time when Army installations across the country are facing reductions, adding a new mission to White Sands is a big deal. I am pleased we secured this new mission and I will continue to advocate for a larger active-duty presence at WSMR,” he said. The new unit is expected to reach its full troop strength beginning in 2018, reported Stars and Stripes. The soldiers will come from various units across the Army, according to range officials. In promoting the missile range to Army leadership, Heinrich has cited the significant new infrastructure built there, including space for headquarters, maintenance bays and a dining facility.

  • Tanker Mission to Return to Niagara Falls ARS

    Tanker Mission to Return to Niagara Falls ARS0

    New York’s two senators on Thursday hailed the Air Force’s decision to transfer eight KC-135 refueling tankers to Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station as the successful culmination of a months-long campaign by state and local officials to secure a new mission for the facility. “The eagle has landed for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D) told the Niagara Gazette following the news. “I’ve been working on this for a year. This is our future,” he said. Funding for the new mission is expected to be included in the Obama administration’s fiscal 2017 budget request. No timetable for transfer of the aircraft has been announced, but the move is expected to happen soon …

  • Eleven Bases Vie for New Air Tankers

    Eleven Bases Vie for New Air Tankers0

    Eleven installations are in the running to host the KC-46 air refueling tanker in the Air Force’s next round of selection, lawmakers said last week. The installations, according to a release from Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), are Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; Dover AFB, Del.; Dyess AFB, Texas; Fairchild AFB, Wash.; Grand Forks AFB, N.D.; Joint Base Charleston, S.C.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Little Rock AFB, Ark.; MacDill AFB, Fla.; Scott AFB, Ill.; and Travis AFB, Calif. The Air Force will narrow the list of approved candidates in the spring and likely will make a final basing decision by the end of the year, said Jeff Sagnip, a spokesman for Smith …