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May 20, 2022

Eielson AFB completes stand up of two F-35A squadrons

The two operational flying squadrons comprise 54 combat-coded F-35A aircraft.

The US Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) in Alaska has completed the task of standing up two F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft squadrons.

US Air Force (USAF) 354th Fighter Wing (FW) completed its fleet after receiving the final fifth-generation aircraft.

A ceremony was held at Eielson AFB on 13 May to mark the achievement.

The event was attended by various military personnel and officials, including Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) commander general Ken Wilsbach, and Lockheed Martin customer requirements vice-president and retired general Gary North.

354th FW commander colonel David Berkland said: “Thank you to our partners from Lockheed and the amazing teammates they’ve been in getting these aircraft to us and ready to go.

“We did this 54 F-35 bed down at record speed despite a pandemic, as well as Arctic temperatures in order to bring the 354th Fighter Wing up to a full fifth-generation war-fighting posture, honouring our legacy of valour in combat.”

With the F-35A fighter aircraft fleet completion, the 354th FW has now transformed into a fifth-generation fighter wing.

The completion at Eielson AFB has also resulted in making Alaska a more strategic location.

The combat aircraft flying out of the Eielson AFB can now reach anywhere in the northern hemisphere in just one sortie.

The 354th FW is the host unit at Eielson AFB, which provides combat-ready and advanced integration training to the US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM).

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