Air Force to retire 250 aircraft and fighter jets

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- The U.S. Air Force will retire more than 250 aircraft and fighter jets in the next several months.

Those in the Air Force admit it's a bit of a risk phasing out so many of their fighter jets, but in the long run they hope it will make the force more effective.

As part of the Combat Air Force Reduction in Forces plan, Hill Air Force Base will send out 12 aircrafts in the next two months and another 12 this fall -- making their inventory smaller, but hopefully more lethal.

It's not just Hill Air Force Base losing fighter jets.

"As an Air Force, we are going to accelerate the retirement of 259 aircraft," said Col. David Hathaway with the 388th Fighter Wing unit.

It's all part of a master plan by the Air force, retiring several F-16s, F-15s and A-10s to save money.

"It frees up $355 million this fiscal year and over the next five fiscal years will free up $3.5 billion, which will allow us to reshape our force into a smaller, leaner, more agile and capable force for the future," Hathaway explains.

It also means Hill will be down one fighter squadron.

But the 617 military positions from the 388th Fighter Wing won't be lost, just reassigned somewhere else.

And though the retiring of these jets will mean the Air Force will have a smaller inventory right now, Hathaway says, "In the long term this makes us more lethal and combat capable, yet smaller force."

Another 12 aircraft will leave Hill Air Force Base late summer for Italy.



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