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NEWS | Dec. 9, 2009

Langley to take first step toward Joint Base Langley-Eustis

By Staff Sgt. Heidi Davis 1st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

On Jan. 7, the 1st Fighter Wing will release two of its four groups to the soon-to-be-established 633rd Air Base Wing; this is the first step toward the congressionally directed Joint Base Langley-Eustis, which will begin Initial Operational Capability later next month.

The purpose of the 633rd ABW is to "optimally organize Langley as the supporting component in the joint base model. (U.S. Army post Fort Eustis will be the supported component.)"

"We are proud of the relationships we have built with our counterparts at Langley Air Force Base and the work we have accomplished thus far," said Col. Glenn K. Grothe, Fort Eustis garrison commander. "While this is a significant accomplishment, we are continuing our momentum through the implementation phase of the process. We look forward to continued success in our partnerships with Langley, as we move forward with the process to become Joint Base Langley-Eustis."

Following the stand-up, wing and unit commanders will set into motion approximately four years' worth of planning to evolve the 1st FW support units into 633rd ABW support units, while continuing to "deliver precise, reliable airpower."

Assuming command, Col. Donald Kirkland, most recently the 5th Maintenance Group commander at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., will transition 1st Mission Support Group and 1st Medical Group units as well as 1st FW staff agencies into 633rd ABW assets.

"The teamwork among Langley AFB and Ft Eustis leadership has been phenomenal," Colonel Kirkland said. "Their smart decisions will ensure that once installation support activities are consolidated under the 633rd Air Base Wing, the same excellent quality of support will continue."

The 1st FW, remaining under the command of Col. Matt Molloy, will continue F-15C/D Eagle and F-22A Raptor airfield operations under the 1st Operations Group and 1st Maintenance Group.

"I look forward to taking airpower as well as joint force cooperation and integration to the next level through a close partnership with the 633rd ABW and our Fort Eustis brothers-in-arms. I expect nothing short of spectacular success," remarked Colonel Molloy.

Langley and Fort Eustis are among 26 installations across the country combining into 12 joint bases. They were singled out for consolidation in 2005 during the military's Base Realignment and Closure process.