Posted: Mar 8, 2012 5:24 AM by AP
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Air Force's latest budget proposal would eliminate the 917th Fighter Group, a reserve unit of 580 people at Barksdale Air Force Base, by the end of next year - its 50th anniversary.
Col. John Breazeale, the 917th's commander, says the proposal calls for retiring 21 of the unit's A-10 "Warthog" jets and moving the remaining three to Whiteman Air Force Base.
He said Wednesday that that would close the 917th, and the airmen would be moved to different units.
It has 409 part-time reservists and 171 technicians whose part-time reserve work is linked to full-time Defense Department jobs. That's about one-fifth of the reservists and about one-quarter of the technicians stationed at Barksdale.
Breazeale says the 917th has about 150 people in Afghanistan right now.