Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel touched down in Seoul on Sunday on the first stop of his week-long visit to the Asia-Pacific region that will also take him to Japan. While in South Korea, Hagel is scheduled to participate in the ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the US-South Korean alliance and attend the 45th Security Consultative Meeting, according to a Pentagon release. He will also preside over the Oct. 2 change-of-command ceremony for US Forces Korea, at which Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti will succeed Army Gen. James Thurman. Hagel will then travel to Tokyo, where he will join Secretary of State John Kerry for the US-Japan Consultative Committee. This is Hagel’s third trip to the Asia-Pacific since becoming Defense Secretary in February. Hagel’s visit comes on the heels of Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh’s visit to China. Welsh visited South Korea and Japan in August. (AFPS report by Karen Parrish)
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.