The U.S. Air Force has decided to conduct the military branch’s F-16 pilot training mission at the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico temporarily in an effort to address a shortage of fighter pilots, Air Force Times reported Thursday.
Kent Miller writes the service branch began to relocate up to 45 fighting Falcons and 800 training and support staff airmen from Hill Air Force Base in Utah due to limited space there.
Air Force Undersecretary Lisa Disbrow announced the military service’s decision to set up the squadrons at Holloman in August and the branch plans to finalize a permanent solution in the spring or summer of 2017, Air Force Times reports.
The military branch also considers other bases such as the Luke Air Force Base and Tucson Air National Guard Base in Arizona, and Kelly Field Annex at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas, the report says.
The Air Force plans to set up three full F-35 squadrons at the Hill base by 2019 with a total of 78 aircraft as pilots and crews at the base have been training on the fifth-generation fighter aircraft for a few years already, according to the report.