Military


Langley AFB, Virginia

Langley Air Force Base, Va., is among the oldest continuously active air bases in the United States. In 1916, the National Advisory Council for Aeronautics, predecessor to NASA, established the need for a joint airfield and proving ground for Army, Navy and NACA aircraft. NACA determined that the site must be near water for over-water flying, be flat and relatively clear for expansion and the landing and take-off of aircraft and near an Army post. The Army appointed a board of officers who searched for a location. The officers sometimes posed as hunters and fishermen to avoid potential land speculation which would arise if the government's interest in purchasing land were revealed. Fifteen locations were scouted before the site near Hampton was selected.

In 1917, the new proving ground was designated Langley Field for one of America's early air pioneers, Samuel Pierpont Langley. Langley had first made tests with his manned heavier-than-air craft, launched from a houseboat catapult, in 1903. His first attempts failed and he died in 1906, shortly before a rebuilt version of his craft soared into the sky.

Several buildings had been constructed on the field by late 1918. Aircraft on the ramp at that time included the JN-4 Curtis Jenny, used by Langley's School of Aerial Photography, and the deHavilland DH-4 bomber, both used during World War 1. Although short-lived, hydrogen-filled dirigibles played an important role in Langley's early history and a portion of the base is still referred to as the LTA (lighter-than-air) area.

In the early 1920s, Langley became the site where the new air power concept was tried and proven. Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell led bombing runs from Langley over captured German warships anchored off the coast of Virginia. These first successful tests set the precedent for the airplane's new role of strategic bombardment.

Throughout the 1930s Langley Field occupied a princlpal position in the Army's efforts to strengthen the offensive and defensive posture of its air arm. The small grassy field became a major airfield of the Army Air Corps, and many of the brick buildings of today were constructed at that time.

At the outbreak of World War ll Langley took on a new mission, to develop special detector equipment used in antisubmarine warfare. Langley units played a vital role in the sinking of enemy submarines off the United States coast during the war.

On May 25, 1946 the headquarters of the newly formed Tactical Air Command were established at Langley. The command's mission was to organize, train, equip and maintain combat-ready forces capable of rapid deployment to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime air defense. The arrival of Tactical Air Command and jet aircraft marked the beginning of a new era in the history of the field, and in January 1948 Langley Field officially became Langley Air Force Base.

Today the host unit at Langley is the 1st Fighter Wing, with the mission of maintaining combat capability for rapid global deployment to conduct air superiority operations. To accomplish this mission, the 1st Fighter Wing flies the F-15 Eagle, which entered Air Force operational service at Langley in January 1976.

On June 1, 1992, Langley became the headquarters of the newly formed Air Combat Command, as Tactical Air Command was inactivated as part of the Air Force's restructuring. Air Combat Command acts as the primary provider of air combat forces in the warfighting commands and as the proponent for Intercontinental ballistic missiles and fighter, bomber, reconnaissance and battle-management aircraft, and command, control, communications and intelligence systems.

Covering 2,900 acres, Langley is home for more than 8,800 military and approximately 2,800 civilian employees

BRAC 2005

Secretary of Defense Recommendations: Realign Elmendorf Air Force Base. The 3rd Wing at Elmendorf Air Force Base would distribute 24 of 42 assigned F-15C/D aircraft to the 1st Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, VA.

In its another recommendation, DoD recommended to close Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (ARS), NY. The 914th Airlift Wing's headquarters would move to Langley AFB, VA as a result of this closure.

DoD also recommended to realign Langley AFB, VA. It would realign base-level F-15 avionics intermediate maintenance from Langley AFB to Tyndall AFB, FL, by establishing a Centralized Intermediate Repair Facility (CIRF) at Tyndall AFB for F-15 avionics.

The total estimated one-time cost to the Department of Defense to implement this recommendation would be $1.8M. The net of all costs and savings to the Department during the implementation period would be a savings of $1.5M. Annual recurring savings to the Department after implementation would be $0.7M, with a payback expected in three years. The net present value of the cost and savings to the Department over 20 years would be a savings of $8.3M. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 39 jobs (19 direct jobs and 20 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC, Metropolitan Statistical economic area (less than 0.1 percent). There would be potential impacts to air quality; cultural, archeological, or tribal resources; dredging; land use constraints or sensitive resource areas; threatened and endangered species or critical habitat; waste management; and wetlands that might need to be considered during the implementation of this recommendation. Impacts of costs included $0.2M in costs for environmental compliance and waste management.

In another recommendation, DoD would establish a Combat Air Force Logistics Support Center at Langley Air Force Base by realigning Regional Supply Squadrons positions from Hickam Air Force Base and Sembach, Germany (non-BRAC programmatic) as well as base-level Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) positions from Luke Air Force Base.

Combined with a recommendation to create a Mobility Air Forces LSC, this recommendation would be a transformational opportunity consistent with eLog21 initiatives that would standardize Air Force materiel management command and control. This recommendation would realign RSS manpower (from three MAJCOM locations) and base-level LRS manpower (from three installations) into two LSCs in support of Combat Air Forces and Mobility Air Forces. Consolidation would provide a seamless transition from peace to war for 3,012 aircraft and weapons systems associated with CAF/MAF forces and the Airmen that use them. It would also provide a single point of contact to the warfighter, whether at home station or deployed. This recommendation would also result in the disestablishment of the Air Force Special Operations Command Regional Supply Squadron, Pacific Air Forces Regional Supply Squadron, and the United States Air Forces in Europe Regional Supply Squadron.

In another recommendation, DoD would establish a Centralized Intermediate Repair Facility (CIRF) for F100 engines at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC by realigning base-level F100 engine intermediate maintenance from Langley Air Force Base. In another recommendation, DoD would establish a CIRF for F100 engines at New Orleans Air Reserve Station, LA (Air National Guard unit) by realigning base-level F100 engine intermediate maintenance from Tyndall Air Force Base and Jacksonville Air Guard Station. This recommendation would standardize stateside and deployed intermediate-level maintenance concepts, and compliment other CIRF recommendations made by the Air Force. These CIRFs would increase maintenance productivity and support to the warfighter by consolidating dispersed and random workflows, improving reliability-centered maintenance. Realigning F100 engine maintenance from Langley and establishing an eastern region CIRF at Seymour Johnson would anticipate the installation as a maintenance workload center for F-15 engines. Seymour Johnson was projected to have up to 87 F-15 aircraft as compared to only 24 F-15 aircraft at Langley. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 66 jobs (32 direct jobs and 34 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC, Metropolitan Statistical economic area (less than 0.1 percent).

In another recommendation, DoD would realign Fort Eustis, VA, by relocating the installation management functions to Langley AFB, VA.

All installations employed military, civilian, and contractor personnel to perform common functions in support of installation facilities and personnel. All installations executed these functions using similar or near similar processes. Because these installations shared a common boundary with minimal distance between the major facilities or are in near proximity, there was significant opportunity to reduce duplication of efforts with resulting reduction of overall manpower and facilities requirements capable of generating savings, which would be realized by paring unnecessary management personnel and achieving greater efficiencies through economies of scale. Intangible savings would be expected to result from opportunities to consolidate and optimize existing and future service contract requirements. Additional opportunities for savings would also be expected to result from establishment of a single space management authority capable of generating greater overall utilization of facilities and infrastructure. Further savings would be expected to result from opportunities to reduce and correctly size both owned and contracted commercial fleets of base support vehicles and equipment consistent with the size of the combined facilities and supported populations. Regional efficiencies achieved as a result of Service regionalization of installation management would provide additional opportunities for overall savings as the designated installations are consolidated under regional management structures.

Langley AFB's quantitative military value score compared to the Fort Eustis quantitative military value score was a clear margin for Fort Eustis. However, pending changes to Fort Eustis resulting from other BRAC recommendations caused military judgment to favor Langley AFB as the receiving installation for the installation management functions. Relocations of organizations currently based at Fort Eustis would cause a significant population decline and overall reduction in the scope of the installation's supporting mission. Based on these changes, it was the military judgment of the JCSG that Langley AFB would be better able to perform these functions for both locations. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 546 jobs (238 direct jobs and 306 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area (less than 0.1 percent).

In another recommendation, DoD would realign Army Research Laboratory Langley, VA, and Army Research Laboratory Glenn, OH, by relocating the Vehicle Technology Directorates to Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. This recommendation would realign and consolidate portions of the Air Force and Army Research Laboratories to provide greater synergy across technical disciplines and functions. It would do this by consolidating geographically separate units of the Air Force and Army Research Laboratories. This recommendation would enable technical synergy, and would position the Department of the Defense to exploit a center-of-mass of scientific, technical, and acquisition expertise. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 118 jobs (50 direct jobs and 68 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area (less than 0.1 percent).

Secretary of Defense Justification: This first recommendation would also distribute a portion of the F-15C/Ds at Elmendorf Air Force Base (36-fighter) to Langley Air Force Base (2-fighter). Elmendorf would retain one squadron (18 aircraft) for air sovereignty missions and would distribute the remaining 24 F-15Cs to Langley Air Force Base. Environmentally, Langley AFB was in a National Ambient Air Quality Standards nonattainment area for ozone (8-hr, marginal). A preliminary assessment indicated that a conformity determination might be required to verify that positive conformity could be achieved.

This second recommendation distributes C-130 force structure to Little Rock (17-airlift), a base with higher military value. These transfers move C-130 force structure from the Air Force Reserve to the active duty, addressing a documented imbalance in the active/reserve manning mix for C-130s. Additionally, this recommendation distributes more capable KC-135R aircraft to Bangor (123), replacing the older, less capable KC-135E aircraft. Bangor supports the Northeast Tanker Task Force and the Atlantic air bridge.

This third recommendation would standardize stateside and deployed intermediate-level maintenance concepts, and would compliment other CIRF recommendations made by the Air Force. It would increase maintenance productivity and support to the warfighter by consolidating and smoothing dispersed, random workflows. As a result of other recommendations, Tyndall would be expected to have two full squadrons (48 F-22s) as compared to only one squadron (24 F-15s) at Langley.

The fourth recommendation is a transformational opportunity consistent with eLog21 initiatives that will standardize Air Force materiel management command and control. This recommendation realigns RSS manpower (from three MAJCOM locations) and base-level LRS manpower (from three installations) into two LSCs in support of Combat Air Forces and Mobility Air Forces. Consolidation will provide a seamless transition from peace to war for 3,012 aircraft and weapons systems associated with CAF/MAF forces and the airmen who use them. It also provides a single point of contact to the warfighter, whether at home station or deployed. This recommendation will also result in the disestablishment of the Air Force Special Operations Command Regional Supply Squadron, Pacific Air Forces Regional Supply Squadron, and the United States Air Forces in Europe Regional Supply Squadron.

Community Concerns: There were no formal expressions from the community.

Commission Findings: The Commission found that the realignment is consistent with the Air Force goal's of improved efficacies and manpower costs savings for intermediate level maintenance for F-15 avionics. The Commission expressed concern that the Centralized Intermediate Repair Facility is transportation-centric and that delays to transportation of the F-15 avionics packages from the repair facility to Langley Air Force Base could affect unit readiness, but after discussion with DoD, the Commission determined that the Air Force has sufficient experience, planning and resources to mitigate against this possible effect.

The Commission found operational efficiencies gained by this recommendation. The Commission noted a risk to material management support to the Air Force during the transition period, but the Commission also recognized that the Air Force has, in-place, a detailed implementation plans to mitigate this risk.

Commission Recommendations: The Commission found the Secretary's recommendation consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission approves the recommendation of the Secretary.



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list