Vagabond Aggressors

Air Force officials have selected three future basing options for the F-16 aggressor squadron currently housed at Eielson AFB, Alaska, including keeping the unit in place. “Now that we have identified Eielson [Air Force Base] as the preferred alternative for the [Pacific Air Forces’] F-35s, we must determine whether Eielson is still the best location for the 18th Aggressor Squadron’s F-16s,” said Timothy Bridges, Air Force installations chief, in a Nov. 19 release. A survey team from Air Combat Command headquarters will evaluate Eielson, JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and Nellis AFB, Nev., to host the unit going forward, states the release. Nellis already hosts F-16 aggressors. The Air Force plans to announce the preferred basing alternative in early 2015, and begin environmental impact evaluations soon thereafter. Officials last year chose not to move the 18th AGRS from Eielson until broader Alaskan force structure decisions, such as F-35 basing, were finalized.