April 30, 2008 (by Asif Shamim) - Col. Jeff Harrigian, 49th FW commander, held a public meeting on Monday discussing at length what's happening at Holloman AFB over the next year with the base's transition to the F-22A Raptor.
Harrigian said there is still plenty to do in prepartion for the Raptor's arrival at Holloman and called the transition a "major muscle movement."
He went on to say the time line was a little behind schedule but the base will be ready to get the first two Raptors during the first week of June. These will be used primarily to train maintainers.
From January 2009, Holloman will receive a couple of Raptors each month. The first squadron will be expected to operationally ready by November 2009.
The colonel mentioned about 250 Holloman airmen are deployed now. He expects that to increase to about 500 or 600 over the summer and into the fall.
Hopefully during the same timeline of the arrival of the first jets an announcement from Air Force chief of staff relating to the total force integration will have an Air Force Reserve unit associated with the wing.
Harrigian said the Reserves will integrate into the 7th and 8th Fighter Squadrons at Holloman. He believes the Reserves coming will be the 301st Fighter Squadron.
"Administratively, they'll have a squadron commander, but those folks will all live inside the 7th and 8th Fighter Squadrons," Harrigian said.
Other key tasks for Holloman in 2008 include reorganizing its wing structure. Harrigian said the Air Force chief of staff directed commanders to put the majority of maintainers under the operations group.
He said the reorganization is expected to be executed by October or November.