Air Force officials are warning local governments around Eglin AFB, Fla., that the movement of aircraft, jobs, and projects to Florida’s Panhandle will bring more noise, flights, and traffic. The Air Force has chosen Eglin, at 724 square miles one of the nation’s largest air bases, as the site for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s training operations. According to Eglin officials, the new mission will bring aircraft take-offs and landings every two to three minutes over a 10-hour workday. The base would also need to seek relief from the already heavy traffic tie-ups at its two main entry points. This may be a lot to ask, but local officials should ponder this reality: Cannon AFB, N.M., which lost its aircraft in the latest BRAC round, is seeking a new mission (DR, 09/02/05), and would love to have the F-35s.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.