A civic leader tour hosted by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force visited Eielson Air Force Base April 28, 2018;this was the final stop in a broad tour of the Pacific Air Forces area of responsibility that included visits to Guam, Hawaii, Korea and Japan.
The twenty-four civic leaders, accompanied by Gen. Stephen Wilson, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and his wife Nancy Wilson, stopped at several locations around Eielson to gain a better understanding of the local missions and how they contribute to solidifying and forging alliances and partnerships around the world.
One location they visited was the 353rd Combat Training Squadron, where members of the tour learned more about the 11th Air Forces commander, Lt. Gen. Ken Wilsbach, and his unique, multi-hatted role within the Alaskan Command.
“It’s important to share with the civic leaders Alaska’s strategic location and the ability for Airmen stationed at Eielson to project air power, as well as the opportunity to train,” said Wilsbach. “Air crews from all over the Pacific come to Alaska for training.”
The 354th Fighter Wing commander, Col. David Mineau, then briefed them on the wing mission of “Prepare, Deploy and Enable,” and how it relates to the overall state of PACAF readiness. This was followed by a discussion on the six wing priorities such as: providing premiere training support for joint and multinational partners and seamless integration of the F-35.
“Our nation's relationship with allied and partnered nations is strengthened through the RED FLAG-Alaska exercises hosted here at Eielson,” said Col. Shawn Anger, the 354th Fighter Wing Vice Commander. “This tour is designed to show the civic leaders how we accomplish this mission. Ultimately, we'd like them to relay this to their communities emphasizing the importance of force modernization.”
The visit at the 353rd CTS continued with information on the base’s F-35 mission, RED FLAG-Alaska and the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex.
The tour concluded at the Arctic Survival School, where civic leaders experienced some of the school’s curriculum, highlighting how their course prepares pilots and joint-force partners to survive in the harshest arctic conditions in the world.
This tour provided the civic leaders a better understanding of the Air Force’s role in the
Indo-Pacfic Region and empowered them to better explain Air Force programs, positions and problems to other key, local communicators and to the general public through statements, appearances and speeches.