Saving Fresno

The California Air National Guard is trying to get ahead of the impending retirement of the 144th Fighter Wing’s F-16s, once the unit’s fighters “age out,” according to a wing official who spoke with the Associated Press news service. Although DOD did not propose cutting the Fresno-based F-16s during BRAC 2005, the BRAC commission decided to reduce the number from 24 to 18—and those 18 are older model F-16s. California lawmakers also have begun to query the Pentagon about how it will maintain the southwest air defense mission once the Vipers are gone, probably around 2012, according to AP.