Governor Bill Richardson today announced that Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, NM will become a training base for the F-16 and will acquire 48 F-16 fighter jets by 2013.
"It is evident that the Department of Defense sees Holloman Air Force Base as a strong base that can support diverse military missions, has ample runway and airspace along with great weather; making their decision to send the fighter jets to Holloman an easy one," said Governor Bill Richardson. "The Department of Defense and the Air Force see New Mexico as a great place to train."
According to today's announcement, the Air Force plans to remove two squadrons of F-22 aircraft from Holloman, which will be replaced by the F-16. One squadron of 18 jets will be removed during fiscal year 2011 and the second squadron in fiscal year 2013.
"This is a good move for Holloman, as the Air Force has robust plans to utilize the F-16 fighter jets and their training mission through 2030," said Governor Richardson. "Our expectations are that the economic impact of the new training mission at Holloman will actually be higher than that of the two Raptor squadrons."
New Mexico will continue to work closely with the Department of Defense and the Air Force to further strengthen and diversify the missions at Holloman during this transition. Holloman Air Force Base is also home to a German Training Group which the Governor secured in 2005 and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) training mission.