Filling the In-Between:

The Air Force’s new roadmap laying out potential sites for all the new airframes in the foreseeable future doesn’t quite answer the mail in some locales. For instance, Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar (D) wants to know about the gap between the 148th Fighter Wing’s purported gain of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and its present-day F-16s, which he says are “some of the oldest F-16s in our nation’s inventory.” In fact, he says, “They are too old to be deployed to combat zones and inadequate for many training activities.” The Duluth-based Air National Guard unit barely escaped the BRAC 2005 ax. Oberstar promises to keep his eye on newer F-16s being shed by units already gaining the new F-22. He believes gaining newer F-16s for the Duluth Air Guard unit would be “an ideal choice” as an interim step, since it would entail no new military construction.