At least 13 U.S. troops are dead and 18 wounded after an attack early Thursday at Kabul airport in Afghanistan, and officials warn that number could grow. AP reports that the attacks from suicide bombers and gunmen also killed at least 60 Afghans and wounded many more.
60 years after a Fairbanks woman served in the Air Force, she is now signed up for Veterans Affairs benefits. Gloria Desrochers served in the early 1960s as a nurse, but until this week had never been signed up for VA benefits. That all changed when she visited the fair.
For the first time ever, the Blue Angels will be flying over the skies of Fairbanks. The US Navy Blue Angels are in the Golden Heart City for the ‘Arctic Lightning Airshow’ being held at Eielson Air Force Base this weekend. This is the 75th anniversary of the Navy demo team.
The U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin was in Alaska on Saturday visiting Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base. He also flew over other military installations in the Interior as part of his tour. While at Eielson he gave a press conference.
On Thursday, Fort Wainwright welcomed a new commander to the post. Colonel Nate Surrey took the title of U.S. Army Garrison Alaska Commander from the previous commander Colonel Chris Ruga during a change of command ceremony. Ruga had served as the commander for two years prior to Surrey taking the position.
Stationed at Eielson Air Force Base are F-16s, but they are not normal F-16s. Referred to as Migs and Ivans, their job is to play bad guys during training mission. They make up the 18th Aggressor Squadron, known as "red air". They help train "blue air", the good guys, as they play war games in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex.
During Red Flag Alaska, airmen from Eielson Air Force Base are tasked with helping train pilots from around the world. In the air they use F-16 pilots pretending to be the enemy, otherwise known as the aggressors. On the ground, there is the 354th Range Squadron.
Red Flag Alaska exercises are held three to four times a year at Eielson Air Force Base outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. Long before any airplanes arrive, there is planning to be done. That is the job of the 353rd Combat Training Squadron
During Red Flag Alaska, Eielson Air Force Base sees over 1,000 additional airmen from the U.S. and neighboring countries come to the base. All of the extra personnel need to be fed and housed as well as have services like a gym. The Force Support Squadron at Eielson is tasked with this job.
The station held a ceremony to unveil the new Space Force sign at Clear and officially rename the station. Members of the Space Force, Air Force, Alaska Air National Guard as well as community members from the nearby towns attended the ceremony.
Civil Air Patrol cadets from around the country are in Alaska to take part in glider and powered flight academies. There are 18 cadets flying in the glider academy and 10 in the powered, plus 15 adults volunteering to help with the training.
Starting on June 2, the main gate to Fort Wainwright will be closed for repairs and improvements. During the closure, there will be additional gates opened to access and exit the post as well as additional hours at existing gates.
Over the last three weeks, 827 soldiers from Fort Wainwright and Fort Richardson have been training and testing to get their expert badges. Soldiers can earn one of three badges, the expert infantry, expert soldier or expert field medical badge depending on what their job in the Army is. As they train and test, their bodies will be pushed to the limit with 30 different tasks that test their skills as a soldier.
The U.S. Army Alaska has been working with Salcha-Delta Soil and Water Conservation District to monitor the Jarvis Creek near Delta Junction. Each year the creek experiences aufeis which causes it to spill its banks and create a new watershed.
U.S. Army Alaska is conducting live fire training exercises outside of Fairbanks with Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters. The exercise involves over 100 people as soldiers simulate establishing a refueling and reloading area for the helicopters and pilots practicing with their weapons.
Eielson Air Force Base is slated to receive four new KC-135 refueling tankers in the coming years. The announcement was made Friday by US Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski, and Congressman Don Young.
A constant wind whips across the landscape as Staff Sergeant Jason Singleton works to get find coordinates on a map. He is one of soldiers competing in this years US Army Alaska Winter Games at the Black Rapids Training Site to find the most ‘Arctic Tough’ soldier in USARAK.
Members of the Canadian Air Force have been in Alaska training with U.S. Army Alaska during the Arctic Warrior 21 cold weather training. The annual training aims to help U.S. Forces prepare for fighting in arctic climates.
With temperatures hovering around -20, around 150 soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, “Spartan Brigade,” bored C-130s and C-17s to prepare to jump into the subzero air.
Around 50 members of the Alaska Air and Army National Guard are heading to Washington D.C. to help with inauguration security. The volunteers from Fairbanks and Anchorage are being taken to D.C. on a KC-135 tanker from the 168th Wing in Fairbanks. Around five members of the Air National Guard stationed at Eielson Air Force Base flew on the tanker to pick up an approximately 40 members additional of the Army National Guard.
Airman and Soldiers in the Alaska National Guard are going to be headed to Washington D.C. ahead of the presidential inauguration in order to assist the District of Columbia National Guard and federal civilian authorities.
On Friday, Eielson Air Force Base held two special events to demonstrate to the community just what has been happening behind the scenes at the base. At the beginning of the day, members of the 354th Fighter Wing and the Alaska Air Guards 168th Wing conducted an ‘elephant walk.’ The rapid response training exercise was designed to show 354th Fighter Wings ability to rapidly launch aircraft into the skies. Later they reactivated a historic fighter squadron.
Every December 7, Americans are called to remember Pear Harbor, over 3,000 U.S. Sailors and Marines lost their lives in the surprise attack by the Japanese. While the attack may have happened thousands of miles from Alaska, historian Philip Wight said, “It directly lead to the invasion of Alaska and the transformation of the territory as we know it today. So Pearl Harbor was a really pivotal event in Alaskan history.”
November 11 is a day America has set aside to honor those who have served their country in the military. Traditionally there are ceremonies and other events to show appreciation for those who signed the dotted line and were willing to give all. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt traditions around the world, we decided to go to veteran’s around Fairbanks and ask them why veteran’s day is important and what it means to be a veteran.