Aggressor Unit Inactivating

Budget cuts and service “right-sizing” are claiming one of the Air Force’s two aggressor units based at Nellis AFB, Nev., according to Air Combat Command. The 65th Aggressor Squadron, which flies 18 older model F-15Cs, will stand down on Sept. 26. Six of the F-15s—painted to look like Russian-made Flankers—plus a spare airplane, as well as nine pilots and 90 maintainers, will temporarily transfer to Nellis’ 64th AS, which flies F-16s. Those F-15s will fly with the 64th FS until next March, when they’ll either shift to other units or retire to the Air Force’s aircraft boneyard in the Arizona desert. Those F-15Cs not going to the 64th FS will be retired in September. The other personnel associated with the 65th FS will move to other units or themselves be part of the Air Force’s plan to reduce by some 24,000 people by next year. There will be a Nellis ceremony to inactivate the unit in September. Asked if the move will affect the quality of Red Flag and other exercises at Nellis, ACC spokesman Capt. Andrew Schrag told Air Force Magazine on Aug. 11, “We are confident the quality of training … will remain world-class.” Asked whether non-aggressor units will fill the void left by the 65th FS, he said, “details of future training presentations are being discussed and evaluated.”