Also affected by the legacy fighter drawdown (see Twilight for Tyndall F-15s above), the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, which loses almost half its F-16 fleet, plans to shutter two fighter squadrons—22nd FS and 23rd FS—and form a solo but larger squadron—the 480th FS, reports Stars and Stripes. The first of Spang’s 18 Vipers will depart April 15, with the remainder leaving in May, according to Stripes. The “new” squadron is not new to Spangdahlem, where it was activated in 1976 as the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron under the then 52nd Tactical Fighter Wing. With the closing of Bitburg AB, Germany, the 22nd FS transferred in 1994 to Spang, where it supplanted the 480th FS. Not departing are any of the 52nd FW’s A-10s, operated by the 81st FS. (Also a base fact sheet on the 22nd FS, 23rd FS fact sheet, and base history)
MacDill Air Force Base was evacuated and the gates locked as Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on Sept. 28. Meanwhile, other Air Force bases in Florida remained open but on a heightened state of alert, with aircraft at several installations being evacuated out of caution.