Air Force and Air National Guard officials gathered at Cannon AFB, N.M., to reduce the number of days it will take to offload the base’s F-16 fighters onto other units around the country. They cut the drill from 16 days to five. Maj. James Rich, head of Cannon’s 27th Fighter Wing equipment maintenance squadron, said, “We are setting a template for the Air Force,” and added that in the past the service “would reinvent the wheel” every time it moved fighters from one unit to another. Cannon is shedding its F-16s, per BRAC 2005, and transferring from Air Combat Command to Air Force Special Operations Command.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.