Military News

Members of the Alaska National Guard are on their way to Texas on a humanitarian mission to help that state recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.

The guard’s 176th Wing left Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Monday, Aug. 28 bound for Moffett Air Field in California, according to a press release issued Monday. After arriving in Texas, the guard members will assist in any way they can.

If there’s a big construction project on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, there’s a good chance Joel Spano had something to do with it.

As a lead quality assurance representative for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Spano “is responsible for providing mechanical support for military construction projects across Alaska,” according to a press release issued by the Corps’ Alaska District Office.

The Army picked the right morning to hold a big event.

“What a beautiful day,” said Gen. Robert Brown, commander of U.S. Army Pacific, who was in town to preside over a change of command ceremony for U.S. Army Alaska (USARAK).

Taking the unit colors under a dazzling blue sky Wednesday was Maj. Gen. Mark O’Neil, who has served as Brown’s chief of staff since May of 2016. O’Neil takes over for Maj. Gen. Bryan Owens, who is retiring from the Army after 34 years of service.

Commander of the Alaska Air National Guard’s 176th Operations Group, Col. Thomas Bolin calls Eagle River home.

“We like to say — as corny as it sounds — we’re your hometown Air Force,” he said, speaking to members of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce at a meeting at the Eagle River Ale House May 3.

Six Chugiak-Eagle River teens will travel to Nevada later this month to represent Alaska at the Pacific Coast Regional Civil Air Patrol Color Guard Competition in Reno.

The members of the Birchwood Composite Squadron won the state competition on Saturday, April 8 on Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. The daylong event included tests of the team’s skills as a color guard as well as physical fitness and public speaking.

“It was exhausting,” said cadet Bryan Lilly, the group’s commander.

As he spoke, Lilly’s fellow squad members nodded in agreement.

Paratroopers with the Army’s “Spartan” brigade are heading out …and staying put.

The Army announced on Friday plans to keep the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division at its current size while also sending 1,500 members of the 5,000-soldier brigade to Afghanistan.

In 2015, the Army announced the brigade would be downsized and converted to an airborne task force.

Fit and ready for action, the Army’s only airborne brigade in the Pacific now has a new leader.

Col. Paul Larson assumed command of the Army’s 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division during a ceremony Friday, March 24 on Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. Larson takes over from Col. Scott Green, who was credited with making a number of improvements to the brigade’s fitness during his 28-month stint leading the “Spartan” brigade.

“His troopers are eating healthier than ever,” said Maj. Gen. Bryan Owens, commander of U.S. Army Alaska.

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON — Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and his spouse, Dawn, visited Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska at the tail end of a two-week trip to various Pacific Air Forces installations on Nov. 10 .

“[The trip] was an opportunity to not only get out and see Airmen, but also make international connections, and reinforce our commitment to our alliances and our partnerships in the region,” Goldfein said.

This was Goldfein’s first visit to the Final Frontier as Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska -- It was a cool April morning and the Arctic Falcons of U.S. Army Alaska Aviation Task Force were hard at work, as CH-47 Chinooks, UH-60 Blackhawks and AH-64 Apaches checked systems in preparations for lift-off - a typical day for Army aviation in Alaska.

The morning of April 11 was especially important for the Soldiers of UATF's Delta Company, 25th Aviation Regiment "Gray Eagle" as they prepared for the inaugural flight of the MQ-1C Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial System in Alaska.

A long-awaited and expected announcement came Monday by the U.S. Air Force that two squadrons of F-35 fighters will be deployed to Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks.

A total of 54 new aircraft and an estimated 2,765 personnel will be part of the deployment, with construction to begin in fiscal year 2017, which begins Oct. 1.

The two squadrons of F-35s will join the F-16 Aggressor squadron and the 168th Air Refueling Wing currently assigned to Eielson. The first jets are scheduled to arrive in 2020.

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