355th Fighter Squadron reactivates Alaska’s 2nd F-35A sqdn

F-35 unit & base selection, delivery, activation
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spazsinbad

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Unread post21 Dec 2020, 08:20

355th Fighter Squadron reactivates, Alaska’s second F-35A squadron
18 Dec 2020 Airman 1st Class Jose Miguel T. Tamondong, 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

"EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- After 13 years, the 355th Fighter Squadron is making a comeback and they’re bringing fifth-generation airpower into the fight. The return was officially marked with a reactivation ceremony here Dec. 18 with Lt. Col. Samuel Chipman as it’s commander. Also known as the ‘Fighting Falcons,’ the 355th FS joins the 356th FS making the 354th Fighter Wing home to two F-35A Lightning II squadrons.

“The 354th FW has been tasked with standing up two combat-coded F-35A squadrons for a total of 54 F-35As at Eielson AFB,” said Chipman. “The 355th FS is the final addition to this tasking.”

The reactivation of the 355th FS bolsters the wing’s transition to a combat-coded mission doubling the U.S. Pacific Air Forces’ F-35A combat capability.

“The squadron’s primary mission is the suppression of enemy air defenses and offensive counter-air missions,” he said. “Having two combat-coded F-35A squadrons at Eielson Air Force Base will provide PACAF and combatant commanders across the globe additional asset and deployment options, should the need arise to deter aggression by our adversaries.”..."

Photo: "The 355th Fighter Squadron flagship F-35A Lightning II aircraft is parked in a hangar during the squadron reactivation ceremony at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Dec. 18, 2020. The 355th FS’ primary mission is the suppression of enemy air defenses and offensive counter-air missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jose Miguel T. Tamondong)" https://media.defense.gov/2020/Dec/18/2 ... 2-1077.JPG (1.1Mb)


Source: https://www.eielson.af.mil/News/Article ... -squadron/
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Unread post21 Dec 2020, 17:41

<Snark on>
This is obviously fake news because the Canadians assured me that this single engine aircraft can't fly in the cold expanse ... and Eielson is further north than Canada ... same lies the Norwegians have been telling! Don't believe it! ...
<Snark off>

Really Canada ... (Trudy) ... open your eyes.
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Unread post22 Dec 2020, 05:52

blindpilot wrote:<Snark on>
This is obviously fake news because the Canadians assured me that this single engine aircraft can't fly in the cold expanse ... and Eielson is further north than Canada ... same lies the Norwegians have been telling! Don't believe it! ...
<Snark off>

Really Canada ... (Trudy) ... open your eyes.
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Their PM is blinded by misguided stupid leftist politics. You're better off going up river without a paddle.
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Unread post23 Dec 2020, 21:10

Effielant Walk Araska (yes I know):
Fleet of stealth fighters take part in show of strength in Alaska
24 Dec 2020 Daily Fail

"...A fleet of 30 fighter jets and two refueling aircraft lined the runway at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska , close to the Arctic Circle, in a display of air power and American military might. A group from the 354th Fighter Wing and the 168th Wing Air National Guard were pictured on Friday[???] in what is known as an 'Elephant Walk'....

...Every aircraft at Eielson AFB, located just 110 miles south of the Arctic Circle, taxied into position displaying the full airpower of the 354th FW and the 168th Wing together. 18 F-35A Lightning II's, 12 F-16 Fighting Falcons, and two KC-135 Stratotankers were all pictured on the tarmac ready for takeoff...."

PHOTOs: http://img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tena ... 1cbiGX.img &
http://img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tena ... 1cbnKB.img [both by U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Keith Holcomb]

Source: http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/us/fleet- ... s-BB1cbnKL
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Unread post24 Dec 2020, 05:41

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Unread post24 Dec 2020, 15:26

Eielson's F-35A High Rate Climb video 8) cool
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd-kMAAhquk


Eielson Elephant Walk Video :shock: wow
https://www.dvidshub.net/video/778288/e ... k-stringer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c_r58xq-fc

https://www.dvidshub.net/video/778289/e ... k-stringer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jCCyDqydY4


https://www.instagram.com/p/CJE4W6KBvEu/
eielsonafb
Dec 22, 2020 Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska
Despite the darkness, despite the pandemic, despite the -40F ECT, Team Eielson shows what we’re capable of—supporting, defending, and delivering 5th gen AirPower and advanced training wherever needed!
The 354th FW and @168thwing teamed up for an elephant walk showcasing Eielson airpower and the Arctic expertise required to make it happen.
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Unread post02 Apr 2021, 08:37

Flying 24 sorties in one day. :shock:
https://coffeeordie.com/air-force-alaska-competition/
AIR FORCE BUILDS UP ALASKAN F-35 FLEET IN ‘GREAT POWER COMPETITION’ ARCTIC PIVOT
By James R. Webb | April 01, 2021
April 2021 marks one year since the Air Force’s first two F-35A Lightning II advanced stealth fighters arrived at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. Twenty-five of the Air Force’s fifth-generation fighters are now at Eielson, part of the service’s overall plan to turn Alaska into a “fifth-gen powerhouse,” according to an Air Force press release.
“We have come a long way since the arrival of the first aircraft in April 2020 to now,” Air Force Maj. Jarod DiGeorge of the 354th Fighter Wing said in the release. “Flying 24 sorties in one day barely eight months after first wheels down at Eielson. We are currently on track to achieve initial combat capability this spring and full combat capability next winter.”
Former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James issued a 2016 “record of decision,” effectively establishing Eielson as the home for the service’s Alaska-based F-35s. Additionally, the measure reactivated the 354th Fighter Wing and placed it at Eielson. The wing is slated to receive 54 F-35As in total and is on track to reach full capacity by March 2022.

A strong deterrent in Alaska is quickly becoming a focal point of a renewed “great power competition” between China, Russia, and the US. In January 2018, Beijing’s so-called Polar Silk Road Arctic strategy declared China to be a “near-Arctic state” — even though China’s nearest territory to the Arctic is some 900 miles away. Additionally, Moscow and Beijing have agreed to connect the Northern Sea Route, claimed by Russia, with China’s Maritime Silk Road.
By 2022, Alaska will be one of most heavily defended airspaces on earth. When Eielson’s F-35 fleet is at full strength, Alaska will have more of America’s advanced, fifth-generation fighters than any other US state.
“America cannot afford to fall behind as other nations devote resources to the Arctic region to secure their national interests. America’s very real interests in the Arctic will only increase in the years to come,” authors Luke Coffey and Daniel Kochis wrote in a March 2020 report for The Heritage Foundation.
As Eielson AFB gets more F-35As, it gets closer to being fully combat capable. “It allows our aircrew to be able to train realistically without limitations and to accomplish their specific airborne requirements to be fully proficient in the mission and fly at a combat mission ready rate,” DiGeorge said. “Each and every aircraft we receive is also a projection of the wing’s airpower and furthers our ability to strike in a moment’s notice.”
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Unread post04 Nov 2021, 22:30

ALASKAN FIFTH-GEN [6 page PDF attached]
Dec 2021 Kedar Karmarkar, Combat Aircraft Journal

"Kedar Karmarkar heads towards the Artic Circle to see how life with the 354th Fighter Wing is progressing since the first F-35As were delivered to Eielson AFB....

....Snow Business
...Master Sgt Jason Rood joined the US Air Force back in 2001 as an engine mechanic on the F-16. He crosstrained
as an F-35 crew chief and was stationed back to Eielson for the third time as the Lead Superintendent for the 356th
Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU).

CAJ spoke with MSgt Rood about the challenges involved around bringing up the AMU from a maintenance perspective.

"The challenges were mostly dealing with the climate," he explained. “The computers have tolerances on how they function in the extreme temperatures, in how they operate, which in reality was pretty well handled this past winter. We did not see any degradation in systems but if the jet is left out exposed to the elements you will see some issues. The big thing are the weather shelters; you are stuck with a time limit on how long can the doors stay open especially in extreme
temperatures of -30°F to -50°F – we can only keep them open for maximum of 30 minutes. We need to get the jet cranked and out quickly in that environment. Snow removal plays a big part in it.”..."

Source: Combat Aircraft Journal Dec 2021 Volume 22 No12
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Unread post17 Feb 2022, 17:40

The F-35 can go from Alaska to anywhere in the world. :shock:
https://www.dvidshub.net/news/413237/co ... iscuss-ace
COMPACAF, Command Chief visit Eielson, discuss ACE
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, AK, UNITED STATES 01.21.2022 Story by Staff Sgt. Zade Vadnais 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The Pacific Air Forces command team along with their spouses visited Eielson to gain insight on present challenges and discuss future plans with personnel assigned here, Jan. 4-5.
During the visit, Gen. Ken Wilsbach, PACAF commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Dave Wolfe, PACAF command chief, acknowledged the challenges faced by Icemen as the installation continues to grow and highlighted the growing strategic significance of Eielson within the Indo-Pacific region.
Specifically, Wilsbach emphasized the importance of the 354th Fighter Wing and the force of Multi-Capable Airmen, especially in terms of the Air Force’s agile combat employment strategies.
“Billy Mitchell once said ‘whoever holds Alaska will hold the world,’” recounted Wilsbach. “What makes Alaska so important? An F-35 can depart Alaska and be in almost any major city in the northern hemisphere within nine hours.”
“Alaska is the most strategic place in the world,” agreed Wolfe. “Our folks here are front line players on the national security stage. With every jet that takes off, every RED FLAG-Alaska exercise, we’re building world class pilots and maintainers here. This is the epicenter of the fifth-generation world.”
The 354th Fighter Wing recently sent F-35 Lightning II fighter jets to various locations throughout Japan for training in support of Operation Iron Dagger, demonstrating PACAF’s ability to effectively execute the ACE model of operations. Wilsbach and Wolfe explained the importance of the ACE concept to future operations and how Icemen and their equipment would be utilized in a contingency situation.
“Every fighter wing needs to be ACE-capable simply because it’s a problem China can’t solve right now,” explained Wilsbach. “They don’t have enough munitions or the capability to deliver those munitions to as many places as we plan to operate from. If we were to get into a conflict with China, we would be able to continue to put pressure on them with our airpower and they wouldn't necessarily be able to stop it. We'll use ACE to do that.”

“The F-35s from Eielson and the tankers assigned to the 168th Air National Guard will be intimately involved if a fight ever comes,” said Wilsbach. “The F-35s getting in the air and creating effects will be extremely important for us to be able to win.”
ACE’s hub and spoke model is austere by design, and will require Multi-Capable Airmen who can effectively accomplish several separate but related tasks in order to be truly effective.
“Folks need to get used to the idea that we’re not going to go to a large, enduring location that has all the support to bed down a lot of people like we have in the past,” said Wolfe. “This is a ‘get there, get some weapons, get some gas, and get back off the ground quickly’ operation. That’s the idea of ACE, and it’s going to take a certain number of Multi-Capable Airmen to do that.”
The leaders used this visit to see first-hand the challenges faced by personnel assigned here as the installation continues to grow. Considering the recent non-concurrent travel mandate for incoming Eielson personnel with dependents, lack of housing was top of mind for many.
“We’re working with senators and the governor to see if we can get support from the state and federal governments to incentivize the construction of new homes in the area,” explained Wilsbach. “It's going to take some time.”
Wilsbach and Wolfe concluded the visit by thanking the Iceman Team for their support to the PACAF, Indo-Pacific Command, and Northern Command missions, stating they understand living in the interior of Alaska comes with unique challenges.
“Thanks to the men and women of Eielson for the service they provide our country, and that includes the families because we know the families are serving right alongside their military loved ones,” said Wilsbach. “The chief and I have had a great visit here; we’re all incredibly grateful for the opportunity to come and visit in the wintertime. We love it here and we will be back, but in the meantime thanks to all those who serve here because their service makes a difference.”
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Unread post11 Apr 2022, 06:07

This time, all aircraft are F-35s. : "42" :shock:
video
https://www.dvidshub.net/video/836332/e ... capability
https://www.dvidshub.net/video/836655/e ... capability
https://www.dvidshub.net/video/836656/e ... capability
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JFVSOA6hHM

photo
https://www.dvidshub.net/image/7110004/ ... capability
https://www.dvidshub.net/image/7110012/ ... capability
article
https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... apability/
Eielson AFB exercises readiness, capability
Published March 29, 2022 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (AFNS) --
Airmen and aircraft from the 354th Fighter Wing participated in a capabilities demonstration during a routine readiness exercise at Eielson Air Force Base, March 25.
The demonstration is part of the base’s training operations exercising how the 354th FW is able to rapidly generate and launch 42 of the wing’s F-35A Lightning II aircraft. The event provided the opportunity for Airmen to hone readiness capabilities in response to potential real-world contingencies.
“Since our last capability demonstration in December 2020, we have learned a lot about generating F-35s in an arctic environment,” said Col. David Berkland, 354th FW commander. “The 354th FW and Team Eielson stand ready to deliver fifth-generation airpower anytime, anywhere.”
Eielson AFB’s location within the arctic provides an ideal environment for Airmen to conduct large-scale training in extreme cold weather environments to continue to train and enhance readiness.
“Our Airmen from throughout the wing, not just on the flightline, made this exercise a success,” Berkland said. “Whether they support, defend or deliver airpower, the hard work of our entire team of Airmen enabled us to stand up two fifth-generation fighter squadrons here at Eielson.”
Following the capabilities demonstration, the pilots conducted local training sorties in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. The 354th FW the world’s premier fifth-generation fighter wing—ready to compete, deter and win the high-end fight with a diverse, ready and innovative force.
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Unread post14 Apr 2022, 09:14

Eielson Days Away from Achieving Full Complement of F-35s
13 Apr 2022 Amy Hudson

"Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, will receive its final two F-35 strike fighters in the coming days, making it the Air Force’s second fully-equipped combat-coded F-35 wing and the first for Pacific Air Forces.

Once the beddown is complete, Eielson will have a total of 54 strike fighters in two squadrons. Eleventh Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. David A. Krumm told Air Force Magazine that when combined with the two squadrons of F-22s at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska will have more operational fifth-generation assets than anywhere else in the world....

...Acclimating to the Arctic
The Air Force selected Eielson to be home to the first operational overseas F-35s in 2016 and the 354th Fighter Wing accepted the first two aircraft in April 2020.

“We’ve stood up our F-35s here an order of magnitude faster and more aggressively than any other F-35 base. And, we’ve done it at 50 below” zero, 354th FW commander Col. David J. Berkland told Air Force Magazine during a March visit to Eielson. “There’s a certain pride of doing things up here in the extreme Arctic environment” that motivates Airmen.

To prepare for the fighters, the Air Force spent $600 million on 39 military construction projects at Eielson, to include individual heated shelters to protect the aircraft and aircrew from the elements. With temperatures regularly dipping well below zero, aircraft parked outside won’t function properly, and maintainers can’t work on them outside most of the year without risk of frostbite. Berkland compared the shelters to a hospital operating room.

“Our maintainers take great pride in those facilities,” he said. “And with these airplanes being stealth, everything on them is just pristine. And the maintainers make sure it stays that way.”...

...He [Lt. Col. Samuel Chipman, commander of the 355th Fighter Squadron, which will receive the final two aircraft this month] often tells his pilots, that if they can fly out of Eielson, which is located about 100 miles from the Arctic circle, they can fly anywhere in the world.

“It’s nothing for us to land on a snow-covered runway. It’s nothing for us to apply the brakes on this aircraft, either taxiing or on rollout from landing,” and not get a response. “That is a normal thing here and we pride ourselves” on being able to handle it, he said.

Learning to operate in such an environment takes practice, which is part part of the reason the wing’s operational tempo is so high. Berkland said the 354th Fighter Wing flies 44 F-35 training sorties a day, plus another 14 daily lines with its F-16 Aggressors...."

Photo: "Three more F-35As are delivered to the 354th Fighter Wing at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, on March 29, 2022. The wing needs two more aircraft to complete its beddown of 54 strike fighters. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jose Miguel T. Tamondong" https://www.airforcemag.com/app/uploads ... 4x681.jpeg


Source: https://www.airforcemag.com/eielson-day ... -of-f-35s/
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Unread post14 Apr 2022, 15:18

Seeing the F-35 in numbers like this is heartening, and really makes you feel proud/safe. The program has really come a long way, and that's a credit to the people at both LM/USAF and our other services. A real 5th gen fighter, in real numbers now delivering revolutionary capabilities. And AK sure is a good place for them.

I would NOT want to be Russia, N.Korea, China or Iran knowing these things could be on my doorstep at a moments notice..
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Unread post18 Apr 2022, 22:20

Eielson AFB Completes F-35A Lightning II Fleet 15 Apr 2022 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Photo: https://www.f35.com/content/dam/lockhee ... ose%20.jpg

Source: https://www.f35.com/f35/news-and-featur ... fleet.html
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Unread post19 Apr 2022, 01:31

IG Report: USAF, Army Must Do More to Prepare Arctic Bases for Climate Change 18 Apr 2022 Greg Hadley

https://www.airforcemag.com/ig-report-u ... te-change/

Photo: “A formation of 42 F-35A Lightning II’s of the 354th Fighter Wing are pictured during a routine readiness exercise at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, March 25, 2022. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Martin.” https://www.airforcemag.com/app/uploads ... imate.jpeg
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Unread post01 May 2022, 15:03

“F-35's have the capability to fly more than 12 hours at a time” :shock: (!)
https://www.webcenterfairbanks.com/2022 ... orce-base/
https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your ... aska-base/
The last two F-35′s land at Eielson Air Force Base
By Julie Swisher Published: Apr. 17, 2022
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The wait is finally over at Eielson Air Force Base as the final two F-35A Lightning II Jets made their landing on the runway on April 15, 2022.
“Today we received the last two of 54 aircraft, straight from the Lockheed Factory at Fort Worth, so it is a really significant day for us in terms of the buildup of Eielson Air Force Base, both in terms of the mission capabilities that it brings, but also the other aspects that it has brought,” said Colonel David “Ajax” Berkland of the 354 Fighter Wing at Eielson Air Force Base.
In April 2016 Eielson Air Force Base was selected as the first Pacific Air Force’s F-35 base. Since that time, the F-35 mission has cost over 550 million dollars to fund.
Expansions of the base included the construction of 36 new buildings, and 54 housing units for the aircraft, among other projects.
Since 2019, there have been an estimated 3500 active-duty airmen and their dependents brought to Eielson.
“We bring not only single airmen up here, we bring families up here. Those families and the teams that support the people that are supporting these aircraft, flying them and fixing them as well as the support of other requirements that come with a complex weapons system like this. Those people are all a part of this community and so we have felt all along as though we are joining an extended family here in this community,” said Berkland.
The first F-35′s touched down on Eielson Air Force Base in April of 2020. Now in April 2022, the final duo completed the two full squadrons of F-35′s with 54 aircraft.
These 54 aircraft including Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson’s 48 F-22′s, make Alaska the only place in the world with over 100 fifth-generation aircraft.
“General Billy Mitchell talked about it in the 1930′s, that whoever holds Alaska, holds the world. So the strategic importance of competing and securing our nation’s interests, which were there then, remains as much now as ever. So to bring the F-35′s up here with the 5th Gen. capability, and to be able to project that airpower from this northern location here in Alaska is a huge enabler for our joint force as well as our allies and teammates throughout the world,” he explained.
Colonel Berkland says the strategic importance of these aircraft in the arctic illustrates the airforce’s capability for readiness, and when it comes to training, you need an area as big as Alaska.
“We are actually sitting inside the greatest airspace in the world to train for 5-th generation tactics against advanced threats, both on the air and on the ground,” he added.

F-35's have the capability to fly more than 12 hours at a time, meaning they can reach almost anywhere in the northern hemisphere in one mission or “sortie” as they call it in the Air Force.
To date, the F-35′s have flown just shy of 8,000 sorties over the last two years and about 13,000 flying hours of readiness for the aviators.
With Red Flag just around the corner, this continued training will only enhance the Air Force’s capabilities. The sky is the limit with 54 aircraft ready for liftoff.
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