The headquarters of the 13th Air Force is pulling up stakes in Guam and heading to Hawaii, Pacific Air Forces officials announced Tuesday.

The May move from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, comes in conjunction with the activation of a provisional war-fighting headquarters at Hickam assigned to plan and execute military operations in the Pacific theater, excluding the Korean peninsula, where military operations will fall under another war-fighting headquarters in the works exclusively for that region.

The 13th Air Force staff will form the core of the new war-fighting headquarters, said Maj. Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., 13th Air Force commander, during Tuesday’s news conference at Andersen.

According to an Air Force release, the Hawaii headquarters will provide:

Unity of command of air, space and information operations forces.Round-the-clock, immediate Air Operations Center capability.Rapid deployment anywhere in the Pacific.A focused commitment to regional security and engagement.Support for combined force leadership in the region.The war-fighting headquarters is slated to move from provisional status in the fall.

“At Hickam, we’ve got other war-fighting commanders already there,” Rice said. “The commander of Pacific Command is there, the commander of Pacific Fleet is there and on and on. The habitual relationships that can be developed between the war fighters is another important reason to locate them to Hickam.”

Seventy-seven authorized Air Force positions — 72 military and five civilian — will move from Andersen to Hickam. The new headquarters will have about 180 authorized positions when it reaches full strength. The remaining 1,820 positions at Andersen will remain intact under the 36th Air Expeditionary Wing.

Despite the 13th Air Force move, the buildup on Guam that has taken place in recent years will continue, military officials say.

“Our plans to use and leverage the strategic capabilities that are resident here are unchanged,” Rice said. Plans for the island include an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance strike task force; a regional training campus at now-unused Northwest Field; fighters, tankers and bombers in rotation; and a combat civil engineering unit.

The Air Force plans to spend about $500 million to prepare for the new missions.

“Guam will see a sustained commitment, probably unlike they’ve seen in recent history, not just by the Air Force but by the United States military to take advantage of the unique aspects that are offered here,” Rice said.

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