Alabama Gov. Bob Riley was on hand at Maxwell AFB, Ala., on Thursday to hear Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley announce the return of the 100th Fighter Squadron designation, this time to be carried by an Air National Guard squadron. Alabama’s 160th FS was inactivated and the 100th FS activated, honoring a unit of the famed World War II Tuskegee Airmen, which trained at Tuskegee Field, Ala. The Alabama unit, which will continue to fly its F-16s at Dannelly Field in Montgomery, but with the distinctive Red Tail of the Tuskegee unit, is part of the Air Guard’s 187th Fighter Wing. USAF plans to bolster the wing with six additional F-16s, bringing its total to 24. And that, according to ANG Director Lt. Gen. Craig McKinley, means the wing could perform an air expeditionary force rotation as a unit, rather than combining with another wing. The Air Force also has tapped the 187th to host an active associate unit, in which active duty airmen will serve side-by-side with their Air Guard counterparts.
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.