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354th Fighter Wing welcomes new wing commander

354th Fighter Wing welcomes new wing commander

U.S. Air Force Col. David Berkland, 354th Fighter Wing (FW) commander, speaks during his assumption of command ceremony at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 17, 2020. As commander of the 354th FW, Berkland is responsible for the two newest F-35 squadrons in the Air Force, and the first Air Force F-35 squadrons assigned to a Combatant Command, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kahdija Slaughter)

Group leadership renders the first salute to Col. David Berkland, the 354th Fighter Wing commander, during an assumption of command ceremony at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 17, 2020. The colonel assumed command of the 354th Fighter Wing upon completion of an assignment as the 405th Air Expeditionary Group commander at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Martin)

Group leadership renders the first salute to Col. David Berkland, the 354th Fighter Wing commander, during an assumption of command ceremony at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 17, 2020. The colonel assumed command of the 354th Fighter Wing upon completion of an assignment as the 405th Air Expeditionary Group commander at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Martin)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

The 354th Fighter Wing welcomed a new commander during an assumption of command ceremony Aug. 17, 2020.

Lt. Gen. David Krumm, 11th Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony which appointed Col. David Berkland as the 354th FW commander.

“The Icemen are getting another great leader today,” said Krumm. “Although this is his first assignment in Alaska, Col. Berkland is bringing years of operational experience to the wing.”

Berkland comes to Eielson after serving as the commander of the 405th Air Expeditionary Group, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from July 2019 to June 2020.

As commander of the 354th FW, Berkland is responsible for the two newest F-35 squadrons in the Air Force, and the first Air Force F-35 squadrons assigned to a Combatant Command, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.  He will also continue to conduct Red Flag-Alaska, a premier multinational training exercise.

“Starting today, we are no longer a training wing with a garrison mentality, we are a combat wing with a combat warfighting mentality,” said Berkland. “It will be enabled by the most advanced fifth generation fighter, but fueled by our amazing Airmen and your disciplined, professional, combat-focused approach.”

Berkland is a command pilot with more than 3,400 flight hours and 900 combat hours flying the F-16 Viper and F-35A Lightning II.