The 43rd Airlift Group streamlined its unit structure by combining several previous squadrons into two, newly activated ones during a ceremony at Pope Field, N.C., July 1. The group stood up the 43rd Air Mobility Squadron to replace the groups’ inactivated aircraft maintenance and aerial port squadrons. Likewise, the 43rd Air Base Squadron replaces Pope’s previous logistics readiness and force support squadrons into a single unit, according to a release. The move aligns the 1,200-strong 43rd AG with a 27-percent manpower cut enacted as part of an Air Force-wide Fiscal 2015 force reduction. The groups’ C-130s will continue their? assigned task supporting Joint Special Operations Command and Army airborne units at neighboring Ft. Bragg, according to the release.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.