Richmond International Airport
The 192nd Fighter Wing was located at Richmond IAP (ANG)) at Richmond International Airport in Sandston Virginia. Also known as Byrd Field, named after the arctic explorer Adm. Richard E. Byrd, it is located 4 mi. southeast of downtown Richmond. The base consists of 143 acres and 64 buildings (295,646 SF). It is surrounded by residential areas to the north and northeast. To the west and south lies the airport operating surfaces and airport owned wetlands are to the east. It is home to 294 officer and enlisted personnel and surges to 1000 personnel one weekend a month. In 2005, DoD's BRAC Recommendations called for the distribution of the 192nd's Aircraft out of Richmond and its personell to asociated with another unit (see BRAC 2005 for details).
Richmond International Airport is the gateway to central Virginia. Richmond International Airport has evolved into one of the most modern and well-equipped airports in the eastern United States. Located seven miles southeast of Richmond, the Capital of Virginia, and within an hour drive of historic Williamsburg and a two hour drive from Washington, D.C., the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Virginia Beach, Richmond International Airport is your hub to tourist attractions in Virginia.
Seven major air carriers and Air Canada Regional currently serve Richmond International Airport with non-stop flights to 22 destinations and connecting flights to destinations worldwide. Nearly 2.7 million passengers used Richmond International Airport in 2000 and that number continues to grow, as does the amount of air service being provided.
To help accommodate the current and proposed increase in passengers and air service, Richmond International Airport has embarked on a major expansion program. This program includes additional air carrier gates, new roadways and a new addition to our existing terminal building.
Richmond International Airport also experienced a dramatic increase in cargo activities over the past 10 years. In 2000, Richmond International Airport handled over 141.5 million pounds of cargo. Cargo services offered at Richmond International Airport include over 100,000 s.f. of warehouse/office space and 1,000,000 s.f. of apron space. The entire airport is designated a Foreign Trade Zone.
Secretary of Defense Recommendation: Realign Richmond International Airport Air Guard Station, VA. Distribute the 192nd Fighter Wing's F-16s to the 132nd Fighter Wing, Des Moines International Airport Air Guard Station, IA (six aircraft); 482nd Fighter Wing Homestead Air Reserve Base, FL (three aircraft) and to backup inventory (six aircraft). Richmond International Airport Air Guard Station real property accountability will transfer to the Department of the Army. The 192nd Fighter Wing's manpower will associate with the 1st Fighter Wing. Realign Des Moines International Airport Air Guard Station, IA. The F-16 aircraft currently assigned to the 132nd Fighter Wing at Des Moines are redistributed to the 180th Fighter Wing, Toledo Express Airport Air Guard Station, OH (nine aircraft) and 138th Fighter Wing, Tulsa International Airport Air Guard Station, OK (six aircraft).
Secretary of Defense Justification: Prior to BRAC 2005, the USAF announced a plan for the 192nd Fighter Wing (ANG) to associate at Langley Air Force Base. This announcement was made. To accommodate the association and the F-16 Force Structure Plan, the Air Force distributed the F-16s from Richmond to other F-16 bases using military value and judgment. The F-16s from Richmond (49) are distributed to Des Moines (137) and Homestead (31) to enable the capability to support the homeland defense Air Sovereignty Alert mission. Des Moines' F-16s are distributed to Toledo (123) and Tulsa (114) to support the homeland defense Air Sovereignty Alert mission and to consolidate the precision-guided weapon employment capability that exists in the Air National Guard.
Community Concerns: There were no formal expressions from the community.
Commission Findings: The Commission found that the Department of Defense recommendation to realign Richmond Air Guard Station should be supported. The Commission understands that the Air National Guard F-16 inventory must be reduced. The Commission further understands that prior to this BRAC round Richmond entered into an agreement to associate with the active-duty F- 22 unit at Langley AFB, VA. The Commission did not support the realignment of the Air Guard Station Des Moines, Iowa. The Commission established F-16 wing at Des Moines, Iowa, Toledo, Ohio, and Tulsa, Oklahoma. This recommendation is consistent with the Commission's Air National Guard Laydown plan.
This recommendation directing aircraft movement and personnel actions in connection with Air National Guard installations and organizations is designed to support the Future Total Force. The Commission expects that the Air Force will find new missions where needed, provide retraining opportunities, and take appropriate measures to limit possible adverse personnel impact. The Commission's intent is that the Air Force will act to assign sufficient aircrew and maintenance personnel to units gaining aircraft in accordance with current, established procedures. However, the Commission expects that all decisions with regard to manpower authorizations will be made in consultation with the governor of the state in which the affected Air National Guard unit is located. Any manpower changes must be made under existing authorities, and must be made consistent with existing limitations. Some reclassification of existing positions may be necessary, but should not be executed until the Air Force and the state have determined the future mission of the unit to preclude unnecessary personnel turbulence.
Commission Recommendations: The Commission found that the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final selection criteria 1 and 2, as well as from the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following:
Realign Richmond International Airport Air Guard Station, VA. Distribute the 15 F-16 aircraft assigned to the 192d Fighter Wing (ANG) to meet the Primary Aircraft Authorizations (PAA) requirements established by the Base Closure and Realignment recommendations of the Secretary of Defense, as amended by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.
Establish 24 F-16 PAA at the 482d Fighter Wing at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida.
Richmond International Airport Air Guard Station real property accountability will transfer to the Department of the Army. The 192d Fighter Wing's manpower will associate with the 1st Fighter Wing. Where appropriate, unit personnel will be retrained in skills relevant to the emerging mission.
This recommendation does not effect a change to the authorized end-strength of the Virginia Air National Guard. The distribution of aircraft currently assigned to the 192d Fighter Wing (ANG) is based upon a resource-constrained determination by the Department of Defense that the aircraft concerned will better support national security requirements in other locations and is not conditioned upon the agreement of the commonwealth.
The Commission found that this change and the recommendation as amended are consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. The full text of this and all Commission recommendations can be found in Appendix Q.