The U.S. Air Force as you know it no longer exists: beginning today, 17 combat units grounded

According to internal documents obtained by Air Force Times, beginning on Apr. 9, 2013, the U.S. Air Force will begin grounding front line combat units as a consequence of sequestration and the need to deal with budget cuts.

Seventeen squadrons belonging to the various U.S. Air Force commands are going to be affected by the stand down order.

The grounding is aimed to save the 44,000 flying hours (worth 591 million USD) through September.

The funded 241,496 flying hours will be distributed to those squadrons that will remain combat ready or are expected to keep a reduced readiness level called “basic mission capable” until the end of the Fiscal Year 2013.

Whilst some squadron will be immediately grounded, others will be forced down as soon as they come back from their overseas deployment. Among them, the 94th Fighter Squadron from Langley, whose F-22 Raptor stealth fighters currently deployed to Kadena, Okinawa and Osan airbase amid Korean Peninsula crisis, or 354th Fighter Squadron, 12 A-10C of which are currently returning to Davis Monthan after being deployed to Afghanistan.

Raptor Langley

Other grounded units include the Thunderbirds demo team, 555th Fighter Squadron from Aviano airbase, Italy; 77th Fighter Squadron from Shaw AFB, South Carolina; 492nd and 494th Fighter Squadrons from RAF Lakenheath, UK; 18th Aggressor Squadron from Eielson AFB, Alaska; B-52 squadrons belonging to the 2nd Bomb Wing from Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, and 5th Bomb Wing from Minot AFB, North Dakota; as well as B-1 squadrons from both 2nd and 7th Bomb Wing from Dyess AFB, Texas.

F16CJ 77th FS

Anyway, here’s the detailed list of involved squadrons by airframes prepared by Air Force Times.

F-22

94th Fighter Squadron — Grounded April 9

27th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through September

3rd Fighter Wing — Two squadrons combat mission ready through September

15th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

49th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

F-15 C/D

67th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through September

44th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through July, then Combat mission ready through September

48th Fighter Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

F-15E

336th Fighter Squadron — Grounded April 9

335th Fighter Squadron — Combat mission ready through September

48th Fighter Wing — Two squadrons stand down April 9

391st Fighter Squadron — Stands down April 9

F-16 C/D

8th Fighter Wing — Two squadrons combat mission ready through September

77th Fighter Squadron — Stands down April 9

55th Fighter Squadron — Combat mission ready through September

79th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through July, then combat mission ready through September

555th Fighter Squadron — Stands down April 9

510th Fighter Squadron — Combat mission ready through September

13th Fighter Squadron — Combat mission ready through September

14th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through September

51st Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

57th Wing — One squadron (Thunderbirds) stands down April 9

158th Fighter Wing — One squadron stands down April 9

169th Fighter Wing — One squadron stands down April 9

187th Fighter Wing — One squadron stands down April 9

354th Fighter Wing — One squadron stands down April 9

4th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable until redeployment

421st Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through September

A-10C

75th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through July, then combat mission ready through September

51st Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

52nd Fighter Wing — Closing

442nd Fighter Wing — One squadron stands down April 9

917th Wing — One squadron stands down April 9

HH-60G

18th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

48th Fighter Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

B-1B

7th Bomb Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

2nd Bomb Wing — Two squadrons stand down April 9

B-2

509th Bomb Wing — Two squadrons combat mission ready through September

B-52

2nd Bomb Wing — One squadron stand down April 9

5th Bomb Wing — Two combat squadrons combat mission ready through September

E-3B/C/G

2nd Bomb Wing — Basic mission capable through September

18th Wing — One squadron basic mission capable through September

552nd Air Control Wing — One squadron basic mission capable through September

SE-4B

55th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

EC-130H

55 Electronic Combat Group — One squadron combat mission ready through September

OC-135B

55th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

RC-135S

55th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

RC-135U

55th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

RC-135V/W

55th Wing — One squadron basic mission capable through September

TC-135W

55th Wing (training) — One squadron basic mission capable through September

WC-135C/W

55th Wing. — One squadron combat mission ready through September

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

5 Comments

  1. Alot of People are blaming Obama for this mess,The mess that BUSH and BUSH left in their wake of their screw ups!!!!!!lets not look past all of that!!!!!!iBeing CANADIAN I do agree with alot of the things said but there is so much more…..cutting defence right now is not a great idea but lets see where else your government could come up with the short fall????RAISE taxs’….reduce benifits that help everyone?????Stop blaming one MAN and blame THEM ALL!!!!!!!!! BUSH AND BUSH DID MORE DAMAGE TO THE USA THAN OBAMA EVER WILL…..NO ONE HAS OR IS ADMITING THAT….HOW COME?????? OBAMA got stuck with the war or terrorism but no one has had the balls to say that out loud….how come????ALL anyone wants to do is blame him…start looking back at the BUSHS’ records and see what they left for him and the people of the USA and argue it after rereading the history!!!!!!!!!!!!! OBAMA is doing what he can bc of the controling interests fighting against him…what a horrible President…..wants heath care for everyone….how rude is that…..he wants to take away fuly automatic weapons????oh my god the world is over…..grow up and see that he is the only PRESIDENT that is trying to KEEP AS MANY OF HIS ELECTION PROMISES AS HE CAN….when was the last PRESIDENT WHO HAD THE BALLS TO DO THAT…..I can tell you…..RONALD REGAN!!!!!!!!!

  2. wake up people we are going to be hit and hit hard many major cities will nuked, and 25 mil Americans will perish. Weather u believer it or not doesn’t make any differences. God has lifted his hand and now all hell is about to come in like a flood. This was taken of the alert section of Steve Quayle web page. I hope u all have some contingency plane.

    THEY ARE GEARING UP FOR SOMETHING BIG–His exact words were, ‘They are shipping some serious s*** over there’

    I just spoke with a close associate who has been
    working for the last three years at Barksdale AFB, on various
    construction projects. Likely, you will not remember that I wrote you
    about 6 weeks ago to ask for prayers for people in that area. This man
    is just a guy…a construction worker…been there all his life…salt
    of the earth kind of guy. In his words…”I am just a working
    man…doing the best I can do.”

    To let you know, I have cautioned him, and literally begged him to leave
    that area…but he wants to hang on for as long as he can, so that he
    can tell people what he is seeing, and hearing…but it may be that he
    is finally rattled enough to pick up stakes and get out of there now. I
    am praying that he gets out soon.

    Tonight, he called to let me know that the security and activity at Barksdale has been stepped up in his words, “by 300%”.

    I asked as many questions as I felt that I could and took notes so that I
    could simply use his quotes to accurately report what he has stated.

    “We were working on a scheduled job in the munitions dump
    area…building new blast walls, when AF personnel came in and told us
    we had to leave right now. We asked if were being given a “work
    stoppage order.” They replied “Get out now.” and escorted us out. “More
    like they rushed us out.”

    On April 1, AF Chief of Staff and a bunch of other DoD dignitaries flew
    in to Barksdale. Those coming on the base usually have a sidearm and
    maybe a rifle, but since the 1st, “dignitaries are also wearing flak
    jackets.”

    “They are gearing up for something big.”

    “They are bringing in serious junk.”

    “Moving in warheads…I was working in an area where cruise missles are brought in, put together, armed, and shipped out.”

    His exact words were, “They are shipping some serious s*** over there.”

    (Here I tried to ascertain whether these were going on ships or planes.)

    He replied that “they are going everywhere.” He also stated that “they
    dropped a bunch dummy bombs on some islands off the coast of North
    Korea”..(I just read a confirmation of that from an intelligence
    newsletter, and confirmed by WND an hour ago.)

    I asked him if Chinese officers were still on base. He replied that he
    had not been working in the area in which he first saw them, for the
    last three weeks, but he did say this…”The Chinese and the Russians
    are here…let me put it this way…everybody in the UN plus a few more
    are in here. (US)”

    He heard and directly quoted one officer referring to the testing of
    anti-ballistic missle defense system, “We are going to see a real test,
    now.” He then said that he heard “Intelligence says there will be an
    attack on American soil.”

    He then stated that these defense missile systems were ” being shipped to several bases.”

    Now he is a construction worker, and has been on the base which has
    contracted the company he works for, with over 40 different jobs. He
    said that in those three years, he has never seen it this way. His
    overwhelming impression is that our forces are mostly scattered, a huge
    number of foreign military personnel are in the US, many foreign
    officers have been at Barksdale for about 6 weeks that he knows of, and
    that “anything can happen,” and “it looks like it will happen real
    quick.”

    I’ll translate that last statement in case you don’t speak “Southern”…

    What he meant by that is that whatever is actually going on, North Korea
    notwithstanding, something is about to happen, it is about to happen
    soon, and there is no way we will ever be able to know the truth about
    it, who did what, when, where and why, but that whatever it is, we are
    sitting ducks for anything.”

    He said, “You know, when I was in school, there was always somebody
    pushing for a fight, trying to start a fight, or get a fight stirred up.
    That is what this reminds me of…when I was in school…and somebody
    always wanted to see a fight.”

    He then asked for prayers. So I am asking you to join in prayers for him…for all of them…

    Apr 5, 2013

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