The Air Force and its Auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol, flew some 345 sorties over the continental US during the month of May, according to figures released this week by the Air National Guard-led 1st Air Force/Air Forces Northern, headquartered at Tyndall AFB, Fla. Air Guard and Air Force Reserve forces flew five times the number of sorties flown by their active duty counterparts. The sorties flown by CAP more than tripled from the previous month. Through May, the CONUS portion of Operation Noble Eagle has flown more than 49,000 sorties since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and is nearing a total of 185,000 flying hours.
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.