Air Force F-22 fighter jet training permanently leaving Florida, senators announce


Dave Ress

Daily Press

The Air Force is going ahead with a proposal to permanently move its F-22 fighter jet training operation from Florida to Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced Friday.

The Air Force’s F-22 Formal Training Unit has been operating out of Eglin Air Force Base since a hurricane in 2018 damaged its longstanding home at Tyndall Air Force Base. The unit comprises 31 F-22 fighters and 17 T-38 training aircraft, which are used to represent hostile aircraft.

The move to Langely will result in an increase of approximately 760 personnel: 660 military, 75 civilian and 25 contract personnel.

The relocation involves the 43rd Fighter Squadron and the 43rd Aircraft Maintenance Squardon, which fly and maintain the F-22s, as well as the 2nd Fighter Training Squadron, which riles the T-38s and the 325th Training Support Squadron, which runs the academic and simulator training for the F-22s.

The Air Force has said the number of F-22 flights from Langley’s airfield would rise from 22,677 a year now to 49,119 when the training unit is up and fully operational.

T-38 flights would increase from 16,000 a year to 47,866.

New facilities needed include a 68,000-square-foot maintenance facility, with four bays, a building to house classrooms, 8 full-mission simulators and 16 weapons and tactics trainers, a hangar with six bays as well as space for aircraft maintenance personnel and a 120-person dormitory.

The Air Force is planning to expand the flight line and apron, and renovate the Child Development Center.

The training unit’s aircraft are expected to all be in Hampton by the fall.

The Air Force forecast that the increase in flights at the base will mean the area outside the base expose to day-and-night average sound levels of 65 decibels or more will increase by 34% to 9.026 acres, The number of people exposed to that level of noise will increase by 40% to 24,286.

The other main impact on the environment will be increased traffic congestion at the West Gate and along North Armistead Avenue during morning and afternoon rush hours. More congestion g LaSalle Avenue and North King Street is also possible.

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