Airmen with the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, have begun repositioning the wing’s assets in order to consolidate wing operations and free up space for the Afghan air force’s Kandahar Air Wing. “[The move] allows us to more effectively complete our mission . . . , but it also gives the chance for our Afghan partners to grow, allowing them to become stronger and more capable,” explained Brig. Gen. Paul Johnson, 451st AEW commander. The 75th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, an A-10C ground-attack unit, was the first USAF unit to shift to one side of Kandahar’s flightline starting in late December. Civil engineers constructed new facilities for the unit, including two hangars. With the support of numerous units across the wing, the A-10 squadron completed the relocation without any impact on its ability to execute its close air support mission. (Kandahar report by SrA. Melissa B. White)
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.