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Huge USAF expansion plan

#1
U.S. Air Force Seeks Largest Expansion Since Cold War

USAF Secretary Heather Wilson announces plans for a huge expansion of the force structure. Concentrates on big AF stuff - more than doubles bomber squadrons and hence the B-21 Raider buy, 40% increase in tanker squadrons and "space", lesser but significant uplift (about 35%) in fighters (all F-35s) and SOF support, two extra drone squadrons, one extra transport squadron. The "space" units are mostly going to be (cyber)space units and the expansion there is bigger, as some missile badges are going to be disbanded and reformed in that speciality.

No idea how much of it Congress will actually pay for. It does seem very "China" what with all the big jets. Also, pilots are back, let me show you this watch.
 

Le_addeur_noir

On ROPS
On ROPs
#2
I wonder how this will affect the proposed closure of RAF Mildenhall ( home to a tanker and SOF wing- both of which feature in large increases).

I understand the construction of new facilities for the 100th ARW at Ramstein AB, Germany has been slowed down.

Mildenhall will retain flying activities up to at least 2024 under current plans.
 
#7
It's the balance between "more tankers" and "more tankers pointing at China", isn't it?
Obama's original defence plans included a "pivot to Asia", which was to refocus US military efforts against China. Then things went downhill in the Middle East and eastern Europe which sidetracked that plan. This news sounds like an effort to revive it.

I suspect they will get some of the extra money they are looking for, but not as much as they want. Some resources will be diverted from Europe and the Middle East, but not enough to make up the shortfall. The US will try to get allies from Europe and Canada to move forces into the Far East, but will receive largely token efforts due to lack of interest (except possibly the UK).

Overall, the US see China as their sole real future rival for power and influence in the world, and they will become increasingly agitated at any signs of their own status as the sole superpower being challenged.
 

Raven2008

On ROPS
On ROPs
#8
Yep Hall closure is being put back to 2024 or even later, last word on the streets from the enthusiasts. One old gent, and enthusiast heard a rumour from someone else that the parking stands (bloody hundreth area } were being expanded to accomodate newer permi larger tanker. KC-46 came to mind but probably not for another decade.

Only one unit is moving albeit to the Cotswolds and thats Rivet Joint - u boats etc..

Theres issues with the Bloody Hundreth somewhat moving to either Ram or Spang, partially some resistance from local goverment, partly no construction at Ram as Le Add says

The Air Commandos meant to be moving to Spang but last I heard thats been put on hold.

Rest of 3rd AF ..Alc and Moles staying where they are and not moving to Croughton (no room) . Am sure Menwith Hill is not going anywhere nor Fairford or Welford..twas last week, another Buff deployment.

The 'heath is expanding albeit for F35 ops. Feltwell is still where it is.

Subsequently there has been regular recent deployments of F-22 to the Heath and Spang, I am wondering if someday there will be a permanant F-22 unit in Europe?

Slightly digressing the US Navy will be a permanant presence at Lossie for P-8 Poseidon ops. Hence budget set aside for construction of facilities etc..

US Submarine Hunters To Operate From RAF Lossiemouth

cheers
 

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