The 23rd Wing at Moody AFB, Ga., formally welcomed the 23rd Fighter Group to the Moody family, signaling the start of the physical shift of the A-10 unit from Pope AFB, N.C. The group has operated under the wing for nearly a year, while Moody has been preparing to absorb the A-10 unit, which had fallen under the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C. Its shift to the Moody wing is part of the BRAC 2005-directed transfer of Pope to the Army. A1C Eric Schloeffel reports that the 23rd Wing, which also comprises the 347th Rescue Group and 820th Security Forces Group, will have the largest active duty A-10 force in the Air Force. The 23rd FG also is gaining some additional A-10s from the 355th Fighter Squadron at Eielson AFB, Alaska, under BRAC 2005. The Eielson unit just flew its final Warthog flight on July 31 and will dispatch the last two aircraft later this month.
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.