Air Mobility Command’s 615th Contingency Response Group at Travis AFB, Calif., have descended upon the former Castle Air Force Base, near Merced, Calif., for a weeklong exercise, during which the airmen are opening a “seized” airfield. Some 250 airmen and Army Reservists are running Operation Hydra at Castle, Ft. Hunter Liggit, and Paso Robles Airport through June 8. Castle closed in 1995, victim of an early BRAC round.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.