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417th Weapons Training Squadron bids farewell to Team Holloman

Col. C.Q. Brown Jr., U.S. Air Force Weapons School ommandant, watches as Lt. Col. Marc Reese, 417th Weapons Squadron commander wraps up the squadron guidon during the inactivation ceremony Friday.

Col. C.Q. Brown Jr., U.S. Air Force Weapons School ommandant, watches as Lt. Col. Marc Reese, 417th Weapons Squadron commander wraps up the squadron guidon during the inactivation ceremony Friday.

HOLLOMAN AFB, NM -- The F-117A Division of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School here closed its doors Friday after nearly three and a half years of operation during an inactivation ceremony in Hangar 500. 

According to Lt. Col. Marc Reese, 417th Weapons Squadron commander, when a squadron inactivates, it basically ceases to perform daily operations and goes into a "care taker" status, waiting to be activated again. 

"The people are reassigned and the equipment is moved to possibly be used for another purpose," he said. 

The equipment from here will be moved to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., to be used in the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and for the eventual stand up of the F-22 weapons school. 

While the 417 WS was here, its mission was to provide advanced training to F-117A instructor pilots. The course included 26 syllabus sorties, seven simulator missions, four mission planning exercises and more than 400 hours of academics. 

Seventeen F-117A weapons officers graduated from the 417 WS in the last three years and, according to Colonel Reese, will continue to go on and accomplish great things in support of the Air Force mission. 

Closure of the 417th Friday was the first among many to come in the next few years at Holloman. 

Colonel Reese said the squadron closure was a part of Program Budget Decision 720, which called for the 417th inactivation and the eventual retirement of the first stealth fighter. 

Though a big part the coming drawdown, the squadron inactivation is predicted to have minimal impact on the base. 

"The closure will have more of an impact directly on the Air Force than on Holloman," said Maj. Charles Cosnowski, 417 WS director of operations.