Release No: 078-99
February 26, 1999
Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen has authorized redeployment of selected U.S. Atlantic Command aircraft to their home base. Five of the 10 EA-6B Prowlers, which had deployed to Europe to support NATO, are to return to Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, Wash. Once they arrive, they are to resume their prepare-to-deploy posture.
These forward-deployed aircraft have been directed to return so they will be available to meet both NATO mission requirements and other U.S. national security requirements around the globe. The repositioning of these air assets will have no impact on U.S. ability to support NATO air power requirements for Kosovo, should it become necessary. More than 240 U.S. aircraft remain on alert in theater for such a contingency mission. Returning these "low-density, high-demand" aircraft to their home base reduces the stress on the aircraft, the crews, and the families.