Reportedly Air Education and Training Command officials want to remove the F-15 fighters from Tyndall AFB, Fla., sooner than state lawmakers had anticipated. The Panama City News Herald reported that Brig. Gen. Darryl Roberson, commander of the 325th Fighter Wing, an AETC unit that conducts F-15 and F-22 advance flying training, sent an e-mail around the base last week that said AETC planned to “draw down our F-15s by the end of 2010.” Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) told the newspaper that while the state had known Tyndall’s aging F-15s would go, “this new deadline is much earlier than what was outlined.” Boyd said he would meet with “top Air Force officials in Washington in the coming days to get a full explanation as to why the timeline has been accelerated.” We knew something was up when we reported earlier that the Oregon Air National Guard’s 173rd FW expected to be the only remaining F-15 training unit in 2010. Tyndall, of course, has already added F-22 training to its missions; it currently has one Raptor squadron and would shed two Eagle squadrons. According to the News Herald, the Tyndall area Bay Defense Alliance already is preparing a study that will compare the Florida facility to Oregon’s Kingsley Field. BDA president Tom Neubauer told the newspaper, “I think we’ve got some very good points to put in front of the Air Force and in front of Congress to turn it [the early F-15 drawdown] around.”
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."