Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) believes the Air National Guard failed to follow through on a three-year-old declaration to improve flying safety practices in New Jersey. Lautenberg called on Guard officials to meet with him Monday in Washington to discuss the situation following the fire caused by a New Jersey ANG F-16 that burned thousands of acres and put many residents out of their homes. In a statement, the Senator said, “It’s time for accountability.” Three years ago, a District of Columbia ANG F-16 strafed a New Jersey school three miles away from the Warren Grove Gunnery Range; it was after hours and none of the custodial staff was injured. Lautenberg maintained that the fire “never should have started,” and said he needed “to meet with these generals face to face to get firm commitments on improving safety, training, operations, and chain of command at the range.”
The Department of the Air Force has selected Patrick Space Force Base, Fla., as the preferred location for Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM) headquarters—and hopes to start moving in by fall of next year.