The governor of Montana and his National Guard leadership want to convince the Air Force to give the 120th Fighter Wing another mission in addition to the F-15s it now flies and suggest new cargo aircraft or perhaps remotely piloted vehicles, reports Associated Press (via Helena Independent Record). Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Adjutant General Army Brig. Gen. John Walsh, and assistant AG for Air Brig. Gen. Bradley Livingston, who have enlisted the help of Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in Washington, say the wing’s F-15s (BRAC 2005 directed a swap now completed of F-16s for F-15s) are getting long in the tooth. According to AP, Schweitzer said, “You want to be prepared for what could come next.”
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.