US Transportation Command already has moved 1.7 million pieces of military equipment, or 60 percent, out of Iraq. The command also has plans in place to remove the final one million pieces of equipment and the remainder of the troops by the end of the year. “The mission is looking good,” said Air Force Maj. John Rozsnyai, USTRANSCOM’s joint planning team lead. The majority of the equipment will return to the United States, but US Central Command makes the final decision whether the gear will head home, stay in Iraq for the Iraqi forces to use, or be sent to Afghanistan to help with the war effort there. “Part of the uncertainty is whether the Iraqi government will want the United States to stay longer,” he said. Iraq’s terrain makes it relatively easy for ground convoys to move the equipment through Kuwait or Jordan, Rozsnyai said. However, officials also are taking advantage of commercial air and sea carriers to find the most efficient and cost effective routes. (AFNS report by Terri Moon Cronk)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.