Tyndall Air Force Base, US will retire all the 48 F-15s with its 325th Fighter Wing in 2010 as per fiscal year 2010 Combat Air Forces restructuring plan.

As a result, both the 2nd and 95th Fighter Squadrons will be phased out by the end of 2010.

The changes will help the air force to reassign and retrain manpower for missions gaining importance, such as manned and unmanned surveillance operations and nuclear deterrence operations.

The cost savings from the restructuring will amount to $355m in FY2010 and $3.5bn over next five years.

The amount will be absorbed in modernising fighters and bombers, procuring munitions for joint warfighters and funding critical intelligence and other technology.

The US Air Force also plans to go ahead with F-22 Raptor modifications, budgeting more than $1bn for it in FY 2010.

Earlier in May, US defence secretary Robert M Gates had announced plans to accelerate the retirement of approximately 250 legacy fighters including F-15s, F-16s and A-10s.

“[The decision] allows us to take some additional strategic risk over the next six to seven years, which we think, given the threat environment and the current strategic interests, is a good time to take this risk,” he said.

Originally, the drawdown was planned for FY2013.