Vanishing Act

The last of the Air Force’s F-117 stealth fighters are nearing the end of their operational lifetimes—literally. KFOX Las Cruces reports that only about 12 F-117s remain at Holloman AFB, N.M., which, in 1992, became the one and only home for combat-coded Nighthawks after the transfer of the aircraft and mission from the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing (earlier the 4450th Tactical Group) at Tonopah Test Range, Nev., where the Nighthawk had achieved operational capability in October 1983. Some of the F-117s will be flying out to their final resting places this week, and base officials expect to see the last F-117 depart on April 21, the TV station said on Jan. 24. One of the F-117s is being turned into a static display, it noted. Shortly after the F-117s are gone, the first of the base’s new tenants will arrive: F-22s. Holloman is slated to get two squadrons of Raptors, with the first two aircraft anticipated in June, the report said.