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Pacific Posture

The Air Force does not plan to build any more bases in the Pacific, but will maintain a significant presence in the region. During the Cold War era "almost every CONUS unit" would rotate to Europe every 18 months to two years and operate from there for stints, said Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of Pacific Air Forces. "The Air Force is turning to that in the Pacific," he told reporters in Washington, D.C., on July 29. Carlisle said the United States already is beefing up its Pacific presence with 12 rotating F-22s at Kadena AB, Japan, and 24 F-16s in South Korea "on top" of what was there before. The first overseas F-35 squadron also will be based in the Pacific, likely Alaska, Japan, or South Korea, he said. In addition, the Air Force will "maintain [its] capability in northeast Asia" while "increasingly moving south and west with the rotational presence" in places such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, he said. "The term we use often is 'places not bases,'" said Carlisle. (For more coverage of Carlisle's roundtable, read Lightning Round and Airmen Down Under.)
—Amy McCullough
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