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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 308-99
June 24, 1999

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZES REDEPLOYMENT OF SECOND INCREMENT OF U.S. AIRCRAFT FROM OPERATION ALLIED FORCE

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen has authorized the commencement of the redeployment of the second increment of U.S. aircraft deployed for NATO's Operation Allied Force. The Secretary's action will allow a seamless transition between the return of the first increment of aircraft announced June 21 and the beginning of this second increment of 315 aircraft.

Some 221 aircraft will redeploy to bases in the continental United States (CONUS). An additional 60 European-based aircraft have also been released from their NATO mission as part of this second increment.

The 221 CONUS-based aircraft returning include:

12 F-117s from Spangdahlem AB, Germany, to Holloman AFB, N.M.

24 F/A-18Ds from Taszar AB, Hungary, to MCAS Beaufort, S.C.

24 F-16CJs from Aviano AB, Italy, to Shaw AFB, S.C.

6 F-15Cs from RAF Lakenheath, England, to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska

9 EA-6Bs from Aviano AB, Italy, two to Andrews AFB, Md., and seven to NAS Whidbey Island, Wash.

5 E-3Cs from Geilenkirchen AB, Germany, to Tinker AFB, Okla.

3 AC-130Us from Brindisi AB, Italy, to Hurlburt Field, Fla.

4 EC-130Es from Aviano AB, Italy, to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

2 EC-130Hs from Aviano AB, Italy, to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

132 KC-10/135 aircraft from the European theater to various CONUS bases

The 60 European-based aircraft release from the Allied Force mission include:

18 F-15Cs from Cervia AB, Italy, to RAF Lakenheath, England

34 F-16CGs at Aviano AB, Italy

8 P-3Cs at Sigonella AB, Italy

In addition, 34 A-10 aircraft will be redeploying from Trapani and Gioia del Colle Air Bases, Italy, to both CONUS and European bases.

The aircraft have been directed to return to home stations to 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.