Moody AFB, Ga., will provide training for Lebanese pilots and maintainers on the A-29 Super Tucano, the Air Force announced Thursday. Directing the training will be the 81st Fighter Squadron, which has been leading A-29 training for the Afghanistan Air Force at Moody since 2014. The new mission will bring 80 additional personnel to Moody, including Lebanese partners, and six new A-29s recently bought by the Lebanese government. The Lebanese pilots will fly alongside Afghan pilots, eventually bringing the total number of A-29s at Moody to 14. Training is scheduled to begin in February of 2017, and the initial mission will last through 2018. The plan is to train 22 maintainers and 12 pilots, who will become instructors and train others upon their return to Lebanon. The A-29 will enhance Lebanese ability to fight terrorism throughout its territory with better reconnaissance, intelligence, and offensive capabilities.
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.