The New Holloman

The outgoing commander of the 49th Fighter Wing at Holloman AFB, N.M. sees the home of the to-be-retired F-117 stealth fighter as a “showcase base for the Air Force by 2025,” reports the Alamogordo Daily News. That’s what Brig. Gen. David Goldfein told area community leaders and other interested parties earlier this week. The base is going to be one of the service’s new F-22 wings, and Goldfein talked of other changes, including an already budgeted town center to replace the old base exchange. Goldfein will not be there to see most of these changes, however, because he’s being assigned to the Air Staff. Replacing him will be Col. Jeffery Harrigian, despite an earlier announcement that put Col. Russ Handy in the wing spot. Responding to the seeming demotion to a “colonel wing,” Goldfein said the service has a number of general officer positions overseas that it must fill, but he would “put pretty good money” on Harrigian becoming “a general officer before long.” Meanwhile, the last USAF pilot to achieve 1,000 flying hours in an F-117 has just flown that historic flight, joining 26 other “bandit” pilots who’ve reached a thousand hours. The Air Force plans to retire all its F-117 stealth fighters next year.