The Air National Guard’s 188th Fighter Wing at Ebbing ANGB, Ark., will temporarily host seven F-16C Falcons and 40 maintenance, operation, and support personnel from the Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 138th Fighter Wing. The aircraft and airmen will remain in Arkansas until mid-June when runway and taxiway construction at the 139th FW is slated for completion, states an April 7 release. “The 188th is no stranger to F-16 operations and we’re happy to share our facilities with our Air National Guard brothers and sisters from the 138th,” said188th FW Commander Col. Mark Anderson. The F-16s will be housed in former A-10 shelters vacated during the wing’s conversion to an “intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance, space-focused targeting and remotely piloted aircraft mission,” states the release. The last of the 188th FW’s A-10s are slated to leave on June 7, states the release.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.