Some 250 USAF aerial porters—about 100 are reservists—at Incirlik AB, Turkey, move an average of 60,000 pounds of cargo every day. Since June 1, say officials, the Total Force team has shifted about 87,000 tons into the Southwest Asia theater. The pace of operations at the base in Turkey picked up “significantly” when Rhein-Mein AB, Germany, shut down, says 1st Lt. Jim Burnham, 728th Air Mobility Squadron. He equates the effort since June to the “equivalent weight of 20,000 cars.”
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.