The Air Force Reserve Command at Keesler Air Force Base will be transferring ten aircraft currently assigned to the 403rd Wing to the newly reactivated 913th Airlift Group in Little Rock, Arkansas. The decision comes from the U.S. Pentagon, and it was no shock to Keesler, as this is part of the President's budget rollout request for the year 2015. Keesler is not just losing aircraft, but airmen as well. The proposed budget for 2015 is expected to decrease the Air Force Reserve by 4.7%, meaning almost 400 Reservist Airmen at Keesler could be either relocated or given the option to retire. While the active duty group could be reassigned to different projects at different bases, Colonel Amodeo says that those affected will find new jobs within the Air Force. While these plans have been in the works since the budget announcement was made back in 2012, the news of the day is that the 403rd Wing will be losing its entire Civil Engineering Squad of 120 airmen.
Col. Frank L. Amodeo, 403rd Wing Commander, says, "We have a couple of full-timers there. Most of the airmen in the civil engineers are reservists, and we'll have to relocate them and find them some other work, either at the base here, or offer them some opportunities to move to another base." Keesler officials say the structure changes are significant, but they want the community to be assured that the Air Force Reserve on its base remains ‘integrated, flexible, and combat ready.’