Joe Foss Field AGS
Sioux Falls Airport, South Dakota
South Dakota's 114th Fighter Group, nicknamed the Lobos, is stationed at Joe Foss Field, Sioux Falls, SD.
Joe Foss Field is named for Brig. Gen. Joseph J. Foss, a WWII ace, former governor of South Dakota and founder of state's ANG. Joe Foss had successful careers in the military, political and business environments. Engaging in almost daily combat with the enemy from 9 October to 19 November 1942, Capt. Foss personally shot down 23 Japanese planes at Guadalcanal. He shot down a total of 26 enemy planes in 63 days to equal the World War I record of fellow Medal of Honor Recipient Eddie Rickenbacker. His remarkable flying skill, inspiring leadership, and indomitable fighting spirit were distinctive factors in the defense of strategic American positions on Guadalcanal. In 1954, Foss was overwhelmingly elected Governor of South Dakota and two years later was elected to a second term. After that, he was elected the first commissioner of the American Football League and served until 1966.
The Sioux Falls Regional Airport, also known as Joe Foss Field, is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The airport serves southeast South Dakota, southwest Minnesota, and northwest Iowa with a well maintained airfield, modern and efficient passenger terminal, overnight cargo, complete general aviation services and a US Customs Port of Entry. The Sioux Falls Regional Airport has easy access from all directions off Interstates 90 and 29 and SD highway 38. The Sioux Falls Regional Airport Authority itself was created May 12, 1986 to operate the Sioux Falls Regional Airport. Before that time, the Airport was a department of the City of Sioux Falls.
Secretary of Defense Recommendations: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Dane County Regional Air Guard Station/Truax Field, WI; Joe Foss Field Air Guard Station, SD; Des Moines Air Guard Station, IA; Fort Wayne Air Guard Station, IN; and Lackland Air Force Base, TX; by relocating baselevel F-110 intermediate maintenance to Capital, establishing a Centralized Intermediate Repair Facility (CIRF) at Capital for F110 engines.
DoD also recommended to close Cannon Air Force Base, NM. As a result, it would distribute the 27th Fighter Wing's F- 16s to the 114th Fighter Wing, Joe Foss Field Air Guard Station, SD (three aircraft) and several other installations. DoD claimed that this move would sustain the active/Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve force mix by replacing aircraft that retire in the 2025 Force Structure Plan.
Secretary of Defense Justificaitons: DoD claimed that establishing a CIRF at Capital would consolidate F110 engine intermediate maintenance for F-16 aircraft from five air reserve component units, and compliments other Air Force CIRF recommendations. The Capital CIRF would be centrally located in proximity to the serviced installations, and would utilize Capital's experienced people and existing facilities as part of an Air Force effort to standardize stateside and deployed intermediate-level maintenance concepts. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 6 jobs (4 direct jobs and 2 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Sioux Falls, SD, Metropolitan Statistical economic area (less than 0.1 percent).
Cannon has a unique F-16 force structure mix. The base has one F-16 Block 50 squadron, one F-16 Block 40 squadron, and one F-16 Block 30 squadron. All active-duty Block 50 bases have higher military value than Cannon. Cannon's Block 50s move to backup inventory using standard Air Force programming percentages for fighters. Cannon's F-16 Block 40s move to Nellis Air Force Base (seven aircraft) and Hill Air Force Base (six aircraft to right-size the wing at 72 aircraft) and to backup inventory (11 aircraft). Nellis (12) and Hill (14) have a higher military value than Cannon (50). The remaining squadron of F- 16 Block 30s (18 aircraft) are distributed to Air National Guard units at Kirtland Air Force Base, NM (16), Andrews Air Force Base, MD (21), Joe Foss Air Guard Station, SD (112), and Dane-Truax Air Guard Station, WI (122). These moves sustain the active/Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve force mix by replacing aircraft that retire in the 2025 Force Structure Plan.
Commission Findings: DoD's justification for closing Cannon was the Air Force's overriding strategy to more effectively employ the shrinking Air Force structure by organizing its weapon systems into fewer, larger squadrons and by eliminating excess physical capacity. The Commission found this recommendation would allow the Air Force to relocate newer model F-16s as backup inventory to Active and to Air National Guard units. These moves would sustain the Active, the Air National Guard, and the Reserve force mix by replacing F-16 aircraft that will be retired in the 2025 Force Structure Plan.
Commission Recommendations: The Commission found that the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final selection criteria 1, 6 and 7, as well as from the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following:
Realign Cannon Air Force Base, NM by disestablishing the 27th Fighter Wing and distributing its aircraft to meet the primary Aircraft Authorization (PAA) requirements established by the Base Closure and Realignment recommendations of the Secretary of Defense, as amended by the Base Closure and Realignment Commission. After disestablishing the 27th Fighter Wing, the Air Force shall establish an enclave at Cannon Air Force Base that shall remain open until December 31, 2009 during which time the Secretary of Defense shall seek other newly-identified missions with all military services for possible assignment to Cannon Air Force Base, NM. If the Secretary designates a mission for Cannon Air Force Base during this period, the enclave would revert to the status appropriate for the designated mission. If the Secretary does not find a mission for Cannon Air Force Base by December 31, 2009, Cannon Air Force Base and the enclave shall be closed. Nothing in this directive shall prohibit the State of New Mexico and the Department of Defense from entering into an agreement to close the enclave at Cannon Air Force Base earlier than December 31, 2009.
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