Holloman Air Force Base will lose an estimated 250 jobs when its 44th Fighter Group, Detachment 2, and its fleet of F-22 Raptors move to Tyndall Air Fore Base in Florida next year.
The detachment is an Air Force Reserve unit that will support a new F-22 combat squadron standing up at Tyndall in spring 2013, according to Col. Scott Crogg, the detachment’s commander.
“We are still unsure of the exact time the 44th’s planes will leave,” Holloman spokesman Arlan Ponder said. “However, the 44th Fighter Group will continue to have a significant presence left at Holloman.”
Since the summer of 2008, Holloman has been a schoolhouse for F-22 pilots.
Shortly after the Pentagon decided in 2009 to cap purchases of the new F-22 Raptor and to speed up purchases of the less-costly but equally stealthy F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter, it was announced that Holloman would lose its F-22s to other bases as the Air Force consolidates its assets.
“Primarily, we will provide flightline support for aircraft,” Crogg said in an Air Force news release. “Our biggest impact is going to be in maintenance, but as it turns out, we’ll have a fairly significant portion of the pilot population also.”
About 25 percent of the Reservists assigned to the 44th Fighter Group will be full-time personnel.
Tyndall is home to the 325th Fighter Wing, whose primary mission is training F-22 Raptor pilots, maintenance and support personnel.
The F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation, twin-engine, supersonic stealth fighter designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but it has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare and signals intelligence roles. The cost of the highly maneuverable Raptor is estimated at $143 million each, not counting development costs.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal