F-16 pilots, maintainers, and support personnel of the Ohio Air National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing are deploying on a Pacific theater security package to Andersen AFB, Guam, this month, officials announced. The Toledo-based unit is relieving airmen of the Oklahoma ANG’s 138th FW from Tulsa, which are currently deployed on a TSP to Kadena AB, Japan, according to the release. The Oklahoma unit is redeploying 12 F-16Cs from Kadena to Andersen, where they will be flown by Ohio’s 112th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. The approximately 200 Ohio personnel will take part in Exercise Cope North alongside US and allied air arms next month, in addition to conducting routine operations. The Air Force has regularly deployed TSPs to the Asia-Pacific Theater to augment permanently based assets since 2004, and began deploying TSPs to Europe in response to increased tensions with Russia in 2015.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.