The last of the KC-135s of the California Air National Guard’s 163rd Air Refueling Wing has taken flight from the unit’s home at March ARB, Calif., reports the Riverside Press-Enterprise. The Air Guardsmen are now embracing their new mission—operating Predator unmanned aerial vehicles. The unit will have a name change and switches operational control from Air Mobility Command to Air Combat Command with its new mission. The 163rd airmen are working at Nellis AFB, Nev., with the UAVs, until construction upgrades at March are complete later this year.
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.