Idaho Air National Guard A-10s from the 124th Fighter Wing at Gowen Field near Boise are on a week-long simulated deployment to Kirtland AFB, N.M. The exercise runs through Nov. 10, according to Kirtland’s Nov. 7 release. The posse of 13 Warthogs is using New Mexico’s wide-open airspace and training ranges to practice close air support and search and rescue operations, states the release. Operating from a new location also gives “traditional Guardsmen the opportunity to succeed in roles they haven’t previously done at home,” said Lt. Col. Shannon Smith, 124th FW deployment commander. He credited the wing’s maintenance personnel with doing “a great job.” He added, “They generated 15 aircraft to launch 13. They have done a great job of bedding us down here.” The New Mexico Air Guard’s 150th FW aided with security and logistics, and more than 150 Guardsmen deployed from Boise to provide maintenance and support, according to the release. (Kirtland report by TSgt. Becky Vanshur)
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.