The Air Force and the National Guard Bureau have decided that the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 111th Fighter Wing at NAS JRB Willow Grove should keep its A-10s through 2010—that’s a one-year extension on the date set by BRAC 2005 for the wing to start dispersing its aircraft to other units. However, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who has taken DOD to court over the unit’s disposition, says the Air Force plan “does not go far enough.” Rendell maintains that the BRAC decision called for a Willow Grove enclave sufficient to support a flying mission for the 111th. DOD disagrees about the flying portion. Rendell claims that proposed new missions will not cover all the 111th Air Guardsmen. He says, “The Air Force’s plan is an incomplete and insufficient solution.”
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.