Not Looking So Good in Short Term

The word from Pacific Air Forces boss Gen. Howie Chandler is that his budget this year is better than last, but “next year is looking not as good, to be honest about it,” reports the Honolulu Advertiser. Chandler talked with reporters May 21 in Hawaii, saying he would be in Washington, D.C., soon to tackle the “budget battles.” He also noted that six or so F-22 Raptors would deploy from PACAF’s Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, to Andersen AFB, Guam, in late summer. PACAF will have three Raptor squadrons, two in Alaska and one at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, where the Hawaii Air National Guard will take the lead, working with an active duty associate unit to operate and maintain the F-22s. And, Chandler expects to see new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Kadena AB, Japan on the island of Okinawa. Despite misgivings about next year’s budget for PACAF, according to the Advertiser, Chandler said, “I think … the Pacific is getting a priority” in the deliberations over recapitalization and modernization.