Details of the fate in store for the 913th Airlift Wing at NAS JRB Willow Grove, Pa., were spelled out in a Jan. 3 briefing to lawmakers on Capitol Hill by Air Force Reserve Command leaders: The C-130 unit faces deactivation. Although the facility itself is on life support after BRAC 2005 stripped it of several missions, including the A-10s of the Air National Guard’s 111th Fighter Wing, BRAC did not offer any recommendations for the future of the Reserve wing. In an unusual move, the Air Force declared early that the deactivation action will be part of the Fiscal 2008 defense budget request, not due to be submitted to Congress until next month. An official release notes that USAF plans to eliminate personnel authorizations for the 913th by Oct. 1, if Congress approves the budget action. Officials would like to enable 913th airmen to join the new C-130 wing being established at Pope Army Airfield, N.C.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.