A bipartisan group of Virginia lawmakers led by Sen. Jim Webb (D) and Sen. Mark Warner (D) has called on the Air Force leadership to station an additional squadron of F-22 fighters at Langley Air Force Base. That would give the fighter base near Hampton Roads a total of three combat-ready F-22 squadrons. “We believe that Langley Air Force Base is the best-value alternative for the Air Force and the taxpayer,” states the letter from the seven lawmakers. They said the base could easily incorporate the third squadron “with minimal cost and personnel.” Langley will lose its final F-15 squadron by September, enabling the base to accommodate the F-22s “almost immediately,” they wrote. The July 21 missive comes as the Air Force is reportedly close to deciding if it will relocate F-22s from Holloman AFB, N.M., to another F-22 base. (Webb release)
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.