There’s a move afoot in the Oregon legislature that would close Kingsley Field, home to the Air National Guard’s 173rd Fighter Wing, reports the Klamath Falls Herald and News. The problem, of course, is money. Now, this may be news to Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, whose 2009-11 budget submission “enhances funding for the Portland Air National Guard Base and the Kingsley Air National Guard Base to support facilities operations and maintenance.” Although the newspaper said it had not yet received “official comment” from the state’s military headquarters, State Sen. Doug Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls), whose area includes Kingsley, told the newspaper that the military department itself was considering closing the field. Confusing it is. Meanwhile, according to an Associated Press report (via OregonLive.com), Col. Jim Miller, commander of the 173rd FW, an F-15 training unit, has said that his Kingsley field unit in 2010 could be the sole F-15 pilot training unit for the Air Force.
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.