Airmen of the 49th Maintenance Group and 49th Mission Support Group at Holloman AFB, N.M. have completed the process of moving an F-117A stealth fighter from its hanger on base to a spot at Holloman’s Heritage Park where it will sit as a static display for good. The aircraft, with tail No. 816, has a storied past, with the most combat time of any F-117A in the fleet. It was the first to drop ordinance in Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989, the F-117A’s first use in combat, and also saw action in Kosovo in 1999 and in the first and second Gulf Wars. More than 10,000 manhours were invested in getting the stealth platform into place in Heritage Park, including the many hours to fabricate and paint the airplane so that it could be displayed in public. The Air Force is retiring its entire fleet of F-117As after 27 years of service. In fact, the last of Holloman’s F-117As will depart the base on April 21 to go into recallable storage at Tonopah, Nev., near Nellis AFB. (Holloman report by A1C Michael Means)
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.