Senior US Air Force Leaders Tour Eielson AFB

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force David Flosi visited Eielson Air Force Base April 6.

The senior leaders spoke with Airmen from the 354th Fighter Wing and saw their progress on Agile Combat Employment despite challenges from the arctic environment.

"Alaska is a strategic connecting point for North America to the Indo-Pacific," Kendall said. "Your ACE team is preparing your wing and your jets to deploy across the international dateline and to be light, lean, and lethal while you do it. And if you can generate and deploy F-35s here in this environment, you really can do it anywhere."

Eielson AFB's Arctic location provides strategic airpower projection of F-35A Lightning II and F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft to combatant commanders in support of national military objectives.

"Airmen here at Eielson continue to overcome the unique challenges of operating in the Arctic as they actively expand Agile Combat Employment so we can operate in a more dispersed and decentralized manner," Allvin said. "Their critical role in the Indo-Pacific, Arctic, and homeland defense make them an indispensable contributor to national defense."

Eielson AFB recently completed an aircraft generation exercise to practice getting F-35 aircraft out the door and to prepare for hub-and-spoke operations across the Indo-Pacific at a moment's notice.

"Eielson continues to grow in strategic importance and is busier than ever," Col. Paul Townsend, 354th FW commander explained. "We provide the Air Force the ability to deploy the most advanced and capable fifth generation fighter anywhere in the world at a moment's notice. We also provide the best simulated combat training ranges and interoperability training through annual Red Flag-Alaska exercises."

Recently, the 356th Fighter Squadron has F-35 aircraft operating out of Kadena Air Base, Japan, and supporting international exercises like Cope Tiger.

Resiliency is crucial to Eielson AFB's role in the defense of the homeland and remains the cornerstone to ensuring readiness. The visit to Eielson AFB was part of a series of visits Kendall, Allvin and Flosi conducted to visit Airmen and Guardians in the Indo-Pacific region.

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