Thursday, May 21, 2009

Elmendorf to retire F-15s next year

ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- The Air Force has announced plans to retire legacy fighters to fund a smaller and more capable force and redistribute people for higher priority missions. This proposal includes the 28-year presence of F-15s at Elmendorf drawing to a close in 2010 when the last of its 24 F-15s depart.

"We will certainly be sad to see the departure of the F-15 from the 3rd Wing, however, we remain committed to ensuring air superiority for the United States and Canada," said Colonel Thomas W. Bergeson, 3rd Wing commander. "This move will help posture the USAF for realizing needed capability more quickly."

The 3rd Wing has 36 F-22s that will continue to ensure the mission is being accomplished. This restructuring will provide increased capabilities to Pacific Air Forces sooner than would have otherwise been attained by a traditional transition of forces.

"Elmendorf, and Alaska, remains a critical pillar in the Asia-Pacific strategic triad and will continue to benefit from service-specific capital investments and leading edge combat capability and platforms," said Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, Alaska Command commander.
The Combat Air Forces restructuring balances current fiscal realities with long-term recapitalization requirements and the need to support today's fight. The Air Force took this major step only after a careful assessment of the current threat environment.

At this time, the specific number of people being affected by this reduction at Elmendorf is not determined. When more details become available, we will update the community.

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