Ellington Puts Up Its Dukes

Houston’s Ellington Field lost the Air National Guard’s 15 F-16Cs—the assigned complement of aircraft for the 147th Fighter Wing—to the 2005 BRAC round. In the aftermath of the twin hurricanes, however, the airfield has a fighting chance of surviving. Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, is touting Ellington’s strategic importance. Blum wants to expand Ellington’s capability to contribute to homeland defense and homeland security operations. BRAC commission recommendations, currently before Congress, would realign the wing’s aircraft but leave the wing itself in enclave status that could support flight operations. Blum told the San Antonio Express-News that the airfield would be a good candidate for a combat expeditionary group or a light cargo aircraft operation that would be useful for homeland defense.