The Air National Guard has not received a formal plan yet detailing how the Air Force intends to recapitalize the Air Guard’s aging fighter fleet, said Lt. Gen. Bud Wyatt, ANG director, Wednesday. “I have not seen that plan yet,” Wyatt told the House Armed Service Committee’s tactical air and land forces panel, when specifically asked about this in the context of the Air Guard’s F-16 Block 30 aircraft. Those fighters will reach the end of their service lives within the next 10 years. “We have been making some progress,” explained Wyatt. “I have seen some general plans, but nothing that would show me, for example, how many jets may be coming to the Air National Guard in the next three of four years to replace an aging-out aircraft.” He noted that the Air Force “has committed money for structural sustainment that will buy two to three more years of life” for the Block 30s.
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.