PACAF deputy commander visits Eielson

  • Published
  • By 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
  • 354th Fighter Wing / Public Affairs

U.S. Pacific Air Forces Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. James Jacobson visited Eielson Air Force Base March 9-11, 2022.

The engagement provided the general an overview of U.S. Air Force mission sets at Eielson, focusing on the base’s impact and relevance within the Indo-Pacific Theater. Jacobson met with Airmen across the installation to receive updates on current projects, exercise planning and overall readiness.

Jacobson highlighted the value the 354th Fighter Wing brings to the Indo-Pacific region through Eielson’s strategic geographic position and its proximity to the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex.

“Alaska has become a cornerstone to the Air Force’s ability to project fifth-generation airpower across the theater and its ability to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Jacobson. “The fact that these fifth-generation aircraft can immediately defend or quickly deploy across the Indo-Pacific theater makes Eielson and Alaska such an important place.”

Since spring of 2020, the 354th FW received more than four dozen fifth-generation fighters and activated two F-35A fighter squadrons.

“When you couple the capabilities of the aircraft you have here on Eielson with the capabilities of the aircraft down at Elmendorf, and the freedom of maneuver we have with the ranges and airspace here, there’s nothing like it in the world,” he said.  

Over the past decade, Eielson has experienced a drastic shift in operations tempo. The base transitioned from primarily an exercise and training focused location, as the host for RED FLAG-Alaska, to a key component to the Air Force’s Artic strategy and a center for F-35 mission support and capabilities across the Indo-Pacific.

“It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to visit Alaska. It’s great to see first-hand how Eielson is a 12-months-a-year 5th Generation Center of Excellence and to gain a better understanding of successes and challenges,” said Jacobson. “With every challenge is an opportunity. Let’s take advantage of these opportunities and make Alaska and the 354th Fighter Wing as effective as it can be in training to and defending this nation from this strategic point.”