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Idaho Fighter Jets will Return to the Air

US Air Force, Airman First Class Brett C. Clashman

MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho (AP) — A squadron of U.S. Air Force F-15 fighters in southern Idaho that had been grounded by federal budget cuts since April is finally resuming flying operations.

The 391st Fighter Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base reinvigorated operations Wednesday after the Air Force Council approved a plan to shift millions of dollars. This means pilots and weapon systems officers stationed at the desert base south of Mountain Home will return to the skies, including nearby training and bombing ranges where jets practice their missions.

Col. Chris Short, 366th Fighter Wing commander, called the move a first step toward regaining his squadron’s combat capability. The forced three-month standdown came as a part of sequestration, the automatic cuts that began in March. The money will only cover flying until Oct. 1.

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