Defense Secretary Ash Carter this week is meeting with leaders in the United Kingdom to ensure the British vote to leave the European Union doesn’t impact the future security situation or global contributions to NATO. “Even with all the change in the world—the inherent logic of our countries’ special relationship still stands—economically, politically, and militarily,” Carter said during a Wednesday speech at the University of Oxford. “That was true the day before the Brexit vote, and it is true today. The United States respects the decision of the British people, and we’re committed to partner together in the months and years ahead.” Carter said he opposed the Brexit vote, but the decision “does not change all that we have to do together,” such as the counter ISIS fight and deterring Russian aggression. US officials, including the former commander of US Air Forces in Europe, have said the vote will have no impact on US operations with Britain.
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.