Skip to comments.U.S. to host Saudi warplane training at Idaho base
Posted on 12/14/2010 8:05:38 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
U.S. to host Saudi warplane training at Idaho base
WASHINGTON The U.S. Air Force plans to host Saudi air combat training.
The Air Force has selected a preferred site for the training of the Royal Saudi Air Force over the next decade. The training, expected to take place in Mountain Home, Idaho, would focus on the new Saudi fleet of F-15 fighter-jets.
"Saudi Arabia is a valuable long-term U.S. partner in the Gulf," Heidi Grant, a deputy Air Force undersecretary, said. "Facilitating the modernization of Royal Saudi Air Force aircraft, as well as providing enhanced air crew and maintenance training, would build partner capacity and contribute to stability in the region."
Officials said the Saudis have sought a minimum deployment from 2014 through 2019. They said Riyad would consider a longer-term presence in the United States at a later stage.
The Saudi Air Force specified a training ground that would resemble the Gulf environment, officials said. Mountain Home already hosts training by 250 members of the Singaporean Air Force.
"Our thorough analysis has led us to select Mountain Home AFB as the preferred alternative to potentially host our Saudi partners and to build both their capacity and interoperability with the U.S. Air Force," Ms. Grant said.
Officials said the Saudi training was part of a U.S. project to supply $60 billion worth of F-15s and attack helicopters to the military of the Gulf Cooperation Council kingdom. The arms package, approved by Congress in November 2010, included 84 F-15Es as well as more than 130 Apache attack and Black Hawk utility helicopters.
Under the plan, the Saudi Air Force would deploy an F-15 squadron at Mountain Home by 2014. They said this would include 12 Saudi F-15s, 50 pilots and up to 200 maintenance personnel. Accommodations for the Saudis could cost up to $500 million.
"The proposed training squadron would receive its first four aircraft in early to mid-2014, with the remaining eight aircraft delivered by the end of 2014," the U.S. Air Force said. "The aircraft would facilitate primary air crew and flight instructor training as well as maintenance training."
The Saudi deployment would require approval by Congress. Officials said a final decision was not expected until late 2011.
"Air Force professionals will conduct an initial site survey in December and initiate an environmental impact analysis process in early 2011, which will provide opportunities for public comment, in preparation for the possible basing arrangement," the U.S. Air Force said.
Always wanted to be around the Aardvark. Never quite got there.
Did a lot of time with the Dragon Lady and Blackbird, though. The SR-71...now that is loud!
“There is an Eternal Friendship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.”
And that is the reason the Saudi’s underwrite all sorts of destructive actions targeted at the U.S. Am I understanding that correct, trumandogz? Isn’t Osama bin Laden the son of a Saudi?