Nineteenth Air Force Stands Down

Air Education and Training Command inactivated 19th Air Force last week during a ceremony at JBSA-Randolph, Tex. The numbered air force oversaw AETC’s flying mission for nearly two decades, but the Air Force identified it as one of three numbered air forces that it could do without as part of broader efforts to shed some $34 billion in overhead. “Nineteenth Air Force led the stand up of the F-35 [strike fighter] schoolhouse and the Air Force’s only undergraduate remotely piloted aircraft training program for pilots and sensor operators. The unit also activated student squadrons, streamlining the administrative control of the nearly 1,400 student pilots who begin training each year,” said AETC boss Gen. Edward Rice during the July 12 inactivation ceremony. The NAF “did all this while maintaining the day-to-day flying training missions, which account for 47 percent of the Air Force’s total flying hour program,” added Rice. Maj. Gen. Mark Solo, 19th AF commander, retired following the inactivation ceremony. Earlier this year, US Air Forces in Europe inactivated 17th AF in Germany, while Pacific Air Forces is slated to stand down 13th AF in Hawaii in September. (JBSA-Randolph report by Bekah Clark)