The inactivation of the 81st Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, will proceed this year, affecting about 500 personnel who operate and maintain the unit’s A-10 ground-attack airplanes, announced base officials. This move is part of the Air Force force structure changes in Fiscal 2013. While Air Force officials announced nearly one year ago the service’s desire to stand down the 81st FS, they had to wait on the completion of the Fiscal 2013 defense authorization legislation to know what changes they could make across the force in the fiscal year. President Obama signed the legislation into law in early January. Service officials have yet to finalize the specific plans to relocate the squadron’s A-10s, states Spang’s Jan. 31 release. However, the squadron is currently moving some aircraft to Moody AFB, Ga., and Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., to support training requirements and augment A-10 units at those locations. The squadron’s remaining aircraft and personnel will withdraw from Spang by year’s end, states the release.
The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness revised the Defense Department’s COVID-19 guidelines. The new rules clarify what’s meant by being “up to date” on vaccinations and when personnel must wear masks in vehicles, among other changes.