The Air Force plans to divest Vandenberg AFB, Calif., of its sole aircraft unit, the 76th Helicopter Squadron, next month, as part of its financial belt-tightening effort, reports the Santa Maria Times. The unit’s UH-1 helicopters will go to other Air Force Space Command units to support ICBM operations. The Vandy helicopters provided launch range support, overflying the range prior to launches. In the interim, the unit served as a rescue and firefighting resource.
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.