EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --
Since Sept. 18, 1947, the Air Force has been providing critical air power to defend the United States. We have strived to protect the freedoms afforded to us and have made advances in technology and airframes.
From the Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis aircraft to the F-35A Lightning II aircraft, the Air Force has lived by the motto “higher, faster and farther.” Capt. Charles “Chuck” Yeager made the first step toward history when he took his first flight on the Bell XS-1, a rocket-powered USAF research plane.
We remember Staff Sgt. Esther Blake, who was the “first woman in the Air Force.” She enlisted in the first minute of the first hour of the first day Air Force duty was authorized for women. Blake was even assigned to a base in Alaska near the Aleutian Islands.
Eielson Air Force Base is home of the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. The former Secretary of the Air Force Dr. John L. McLucas, authorized the purchase of the General Dynamics F-16 aircraft on Jan. 13, 1974.
On April 4, 2016, Col. Michael Winkler, the former 354th Fighter Wing commander, announced Eielson will become the home of two F-35A squadrons, making Eielson the Air Force’s first F-35A operational base in the Pacific Air Force’s area of responsibility.
Seventy years after its inception, we come together across our respective wings to celebrate the 70th Birthday of the Air Force with the annual Air Force Ball.
Col. David Mineau, the 354th FW commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Brent Sheehan, the 354th FW command chief, were the first to purchase tickets to Eielson’s celebration of the Air Force’s 70th Birthday.
The Air Force Ball is scheduled for Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Carlson Center. Tickets are now available for purchase. Contact your units respective POC for more information or to purchase tickets.