Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen has authorized the redeployment of over 300 U.S. aircraft deployed for NATO's Operation Allied Force to return to their home bases in the continental United States and Europe.
The aircraft will redeploy in two increments. The first increment of 124 aircraft will commence redeploying immediately and take place over the next two weeks.
Aircraft scheduled to redeploy from bases in Europe to CONUS include:
12 F-117s from Spangdahlem AB, Germany, to Holloman AFB, N.M.
2 EC-130Es from Aviano AB, Italy, to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
7 EA-6Bs from Aviano AB, Italy, to NAS Whidbey Island, Wash. (4), and to MCAS Cherry Point, N.C. (3)
12 F-16CJs from Bandirma AB, Turkey, to Shaw AFB, S.C.
1 P-3C from NAS Sigonella, Italy, to NAS Brunswick, Me.
11 B-52Hs RAF Fairford, U.K., to Barksdale AFB, La.
6 B-1s from RAF Fairford, U.K., to Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
Aircraft scheduled to redeploy from bases in Europe to their home stations in Europe include:
26 F-15Es from Aviano AB, Italy, to RAF Lakenheath, U.K.
20 F-16CJs from Aviano AB, Italy, to Spangdahlem AB, Germany
In addition, Task Force Hawk forces without a follow-on mission to Kosovo and who are not participating continuing support of refugees in Albania will return to home stations in Germany.
The redeployment of these aircraft will also allow the release of 27 KC-135 tanker equivalent air refueling assets.
The planes have been directed to return so they will be available to meet NATO mission requirements or other U.S. national security requirements around the globe. The repositioning of these assets will have no significant impact on U.S. ability to support NATO ground or air power requirements.
A second increment of over 243 CONUS-based aircraft will begin redeploying after the first increment has completed its redeployment. The second increment is anticipated to include the following types and numbers of CONUS-based aircraft: 34 A-10s, 24 F-18Ds, 24 F-15Cs, 12 F-15Es, 24 F-16CJs, 33 F-16 CGs, 12 F-117s, 10 EA-6Bs, three AC-130Us, two HC-130s, four MH-60Gs, four MH-53Js, four MH-53Ms, three MC-130s, five E-3Cs, six EC-130(CC)s, three EC130Es, 31 C-130s, six HH-60Gs, one C-9 and a number of KC-135 equivalent aircraft still to be determined.