Flying Tigers to head to Moody - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Flying Tigers to head to Moody

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August 18, 2006

Pope Air Force Base - With the pass of a flag at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina, Moody Air Base began its 3 year transition.

Moody is phasing out it's Air Education and Training Command Mission and bringing in A-10 "Flying Tigers" and the 23rd Fighter Group.  "By moving the A-10's at Pope Air Base down to Moody Air Force Base allows us to more efficiently and effectively align our future units so we can be more effective," said Lt. Gen. Gary North, 9th Air Force Commander.

These changes are part of a Military wide budget cut known as the Base Realignment and Closure Round.  "It's all part of the shuffle if you will so we can align properly and we can enhance our position on what we need to do in the global war on terror," Lt. Gen. North added.

In this realignment, some planes and personnel at Moody will be moved to bases in Mississippi and Texas.  The 48 A-10's currently based here at Pope Air Base will begin their realignment to Moody next year.

These "flying tigers" will play an important role to Moody's search and rescue team by offering protection to airmen on the ground.  "They'll fly a fourship of A-10's escorting two HH-60 Pave Hawks behind enemy lines in order to do a search and rescue mission," said Col. Joe Callahan, 347th Rescue Wing Commander.

These changes have made Moody one of the most desirable bases in the Air Force.  "I've talked to several of my friends and they're all like...how do I get to Moody?  Some of them are actually putting in an assignment to go overseas to Korea so they can put in for a following assignment to get to Moody," said Sgt. Jeff Andrews, Assistant Tech Chief at Pope.

Once the transition is complete, the new 23rd Wing at Moody will be the only active-duty combat search and rescue wing in the Air Force.

Moody's current 347th Rescue Wing will deactivate October 1.  The A-10's will begin to arrive in Valdosta in 2007 through 2009.

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