The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

Obama Administration ensures one third of U.S. Air Force grounded

6ce8d0d1e939cad3210Sequestration, $10 trillion cuts to Armed Forces begin to effect combat readiness…

Claiming the 2.5 percent cut in increased spending, better known to the American people as the sequestration was to blame, the Obama Administration has effectively grounded fully one third of the United States Air Force, as reported by the Business Insider. 

Citing internal documents obtained by Air Force Times, beginning on Apr. 9, 2013, the U.S. Air Force will begin grounding front line combat aviation units due to a combination of sequestration and the first effects of the Obama Administration’s $10 trillion slashing of the United States Armed Forces.

Despite the name, the Air Force Times is an independent publication and not an official information organ of the federal government.

Stand Down, Boys…

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 cut 44,000 flying hours worth $591 million through September.

The remainder of the funded 241,496 flying hours will be spread load to those squadrons that will remain in a fully combat ready status or are expected to keep a reduced readiness level referred to as “basic mission capable” until the end of the Fiscal Year 2013 on September 30.

While certain squadrons will be immediately grounded, others will be degraded upon their return to the United States from current overseas deployments. Among them, the 94th Fighter Squadron from Langley AFB, VA whose F-22 Raptor stealth fighters currently deployed to Kadena, Okinawa and Osan airbase amid Korean Peninsula crisis, and the 354th Fighter Squadron, 12 A-10C of which are currently returning to Davis Monthan AFB, AZ after a combat deployment to Afghanistan.

Other grounded units include:

  • The Thunderbirds demonstration team.
  • 555th Fighter Squadron from Aviano AFB, Italy.
  • 77th Fighter Squadron from Shaw AFB, SC.
  • Both the 492nd and 494th Fighter Squadrons from RAF Lakenheath, UK.
  • 18th Aggressor Squadron from Eielson AFB, AK.
  • B-52 squadrons belonging to the 2nd Bomb Wing from Barksdale AFB, LA, and 5th Bomb Wing from Minot AFB, ND
  • B-1 squadrons from both 2nd and 7th Bomb Wing from Dyess AFB, TX.

Breakdown By Aircraft Type…

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

T. Kevin Whiteman is a retired Master Sergeant of Marines. He is the founder of the blog Unapologetically Rude and has written for Examiner and other blogs.

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