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A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft sits in a hangar April 4, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The F-16 recently received a new paint scheme called “Splinter,” which is being adopted as the standard pattern for the 18th Aggressor Squadron’s aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Eric M. Fisher) Same jets, different look
January 20, 1974, marked a momentous occasion for the U.S. Air Force as Phil Oestricher, a General Dynamics test pilot, strapped into the cockpit of the F-16 prototype and prepared to take off. The first flight lasted mere moments and only made it a few feet off the ground. Since then, the F-16 Fighting Falcon has improved by leaps and bounds to become the aircraft it is today. More than 4,500 jets have been built since their first production in 1978 and are based at more than 80 locations worldwide.
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U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Ian Patten, a 354th Operations Squadron airfield systems technician, poses for a photo March 22, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Patten, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, is stationed at Eielson where he installs, maintains, and upgrades air traffic control systems equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Eric M. Fisher) Airman 1st Class Ian Patten
Resiliency is a hot topic in the Air Force. It’s stressed constantly and with good reason; Airmen who are more resilient are better able to maintain focus on their jobs and accomplish the mission. Airman 1st Class Ian Patten, a 354th Operations Squadron airfield system technician, joined the Air Force in 2016. He finds motivation for his work through his passion for knowledge in both cultural and military history.
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Bobbie Candaso, the Eielson Airman’s Attic lead volunteer, hangs clothing March 16, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Once items are checked for defects, they’re categorized and displayed throughout the Airman’s Attic so customers can easily find what they need. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Eric M. Fisher) Community improvement through giving
Many Airmen join the Air Force right out of high school. Some have families they need to support and income can be tight for the first few years. A simple shirt, or pair of baby shoes can make or break the budget. There are many organizations which help Airmen and their families through these tight situations; one of them being the Airman’s Attic, which provides gently-used items for free to Airmen.
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U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Kyle Kennedy, a  354th Logistics Readiness Squadron journeyman (left) and Senior Airman Alex Westing, a 354th Comptroller Squadron journeyman (right) ride a ski lift at Aleyska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska, March 3, 2016. The chapel sponsored a ski trip to Aleyska Resort for 16 unaccompanied Airman to bond and help build morale. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Weaver/Released) Eielson Airmen journey to Alyeska
Sixteen unaccompanied Airmen visited Aleyska Resort, Girdwood, Alaska, on a chapel-sponsored ski trip aimed to build morale.  Airman stationed at Eielson face a unique challenge -- harsh, long winters and little recreational opportunities. This can be especially disheartening if Airmen have to face it away from friends and family in a dorm room.
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Joseph McConnell, 354th Communications Squadron knowledge operations management journeyman, looks for a package Jan. 21, 2014, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Sorting dorm residents’ mail is one of many tasks knowledge operations managers complete daily. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Turner/Released) You've got mail: mailroom Icemen sort it out
For many Airmen stationed overseas sometimes the smallest letter or box from home can be the difference between a good day or a bad day. Knowledge operations managers remain vigilant on the job to preserve Eielson's mission by ensuring communication channels, including mail, flow flawlessly within the 354th Fighter Wing.U.S. Air Force Senior Airman
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Participants in a running group make their way around the outdoor track during a workout Oct. 25, 2013, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The running group is open to anyone and typically meets at noon on Fridays. For additional information on running or other fitness activities, visit the fitness center or call the Health and Wellness Center at 377-9355. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zachary Perras) Focus on fitness: Informal base running group challenges, encourages
Some people are just born to run. They make running look swift, effortless and easy as they glide along a track or road. They can complete a 1.5-mile run in outstanding time and barely break a sweat. They run 5Ks and half marathons - and they love it. These people can be regarded by some as natural athletes and by others as the object of their
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Mark Biron, Civil Air Patrol 71st Composite Squadron member, pilots a CAP Cessna 172 over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex during RED FLAG-Alaska 13-3 Aug. 19, 2013. The 71st CS participated during RF-A, simulating low-flying threats for participating blue forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zachary Perras/Released) CAP simulates threats, assists RF-A pilots
During RED FLAG-Alaska, fighter aircraft dominate the skies. Participating forces identify hostile targets while waging a simulated war - but not all hostiles are fighters.Eielson's own Civil Air Patrol 71st Composite Squadron plays a role during RF-A by simulating Antonov An-2 Colts, primarily using a deHavilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver aircraft.
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Staff Sgt. David Bayle inspects an aircraft pin for cracks under a black light after dipping the part into chemicals mixed to show cracks not normally visible to the naked eye at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, Aug. 6, 2013. Bayle is a 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron nondestructive inspection craftsman deployed from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and hails from Port Sanilac, Mich. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Benjamin Stratton) Nondestructive inspection: Finding the cracks
While playing football during physical training, an Airman hurts his arm. Thinking nothing of it, he brushes it off and continues playing. Though after weeks of excruciating pain and a visit to the medical group's radiology section, an x-ray finds his ulna is fractured. Aircraft undergo similar stressors requiring specially trained Airmen to find
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Robert Mason, 354th Maintenance Squadron metals technology journeyman, uses a caliper to measure aluminum while fabricating a part for an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, July 22, 2013. Commonly, a part for an aircraft can’t be purchased or is just cheaper to produce. Metals tech Airmen can fabricate almost any part or tool from raw material. (U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Shawn Nickel/Released) Bringing fabrication to the fight
The noise of metal being blasted by water jetting from a machine at Mach 3 overwhelms the room. On one side of the shop, joints creek under the extreme pressure of a metal press; sparks fly from another corner. In the 354th Maintenance Squadron's metals technology shop, Icemen can be found welding metal, manufacturing parts for F-16 Fighting
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U.S. Air Force service members roll away from Hursey Gate during a motorcycle mentorship group ride June 22, 2013, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.  Mentorship rides are an opportunity for members of the Eielson community to not only practice motorcycle safety, but also to build camaraderie and meet other riders.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Peter Reft/Released) Alaska by motorcycle: Unique experience bears uncommon hazards
It's the middle of summer and motorcyclists continue to travel as many routes as possible throughout Alaska before the short, four-month riding season comes to a close. Daylight still illuminates the landscape well past 10 p.m. and while riding long stretches of highway with sparse traffic, it can be easy to forget just how many hazards can quickly
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