HomeNewsArticle Display

Eielson AFB reactivates 356th Fighter Squadron


Col. David Skalicky, 354th Operations Group commander, passes the 356th Fighter Squadron guidon to Lt. Col. James Christensen, 356th FS commander, during a squadron reactivation ceremony at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 10, 2019. The 356th FS is strategically placed in Alaska to prepare and project 5th generation stealth capabilities, work with partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific and to be ready to deploy around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Larue Guerrisky)


Eielson Air Force Base reactivated the 356th Fighter Squadron Oct. 10, in preparation for the arrival of the F-35 Lightning IIs to interior Alaska.

The 356th FS is the first of two combat fighter squadrons coming to the base.

“The 356th FS is reactivating to bring F-35s out to the Pacific Theater,” said Lt. Col. James Christensen, 356th FS commander. “Looking back at the squadron history, the 356th Tactical Fighter Squadron was previously stationed in the Pacific for both the Vietnam conflict, and to defend Korea and Japan out of Kunsan Air Base and Misawa Air Base, respectively. We are excited to bring the squadron back to the (Indo-Pacific Command) theater.”

The 356th FS’s mindset will be locked in to preparing for the arrival and eventual employment of the F-35 weapons system.

“We are strategically placed here in Alaska to prepare and project 5th generation stealth fighter capabilities, working with our program partners and allies in the Pacific and to be ready, if called, to deploy around the world,” Christensen said.

The reactivation represents a milestone toward the 354th Fighter Wing’s air assets returning to operational combat status.

“The 354th FW has done an amazing job preparing for the arrival of the F-35,” he said. “The transition to a combat force-provider mindset is what we will all get to learn together.”

Col. David Skalicky, 354th Operations Group commander and the reactivation ceremony’s presiding officer, is confident in Christensen’s ability to lead the wing’s newest squadron.

“Lt. Col. Christensen is absolutely the right leader; in the right place, at the right time to bring the combat Air Force mission back on line at Eielson Air Force Base,” Skalicky said. “Standing up the wing’s combat mission (with) the most advanced fighter aircraft the world has ever seen, preparing the whole 354th ops, maintenance, logistics, mission support and medical enterprise to fight anywhere on the globe and being ready to project that combat power from one of the most strategic locations on the planet is an honor, a burden and a once in a lifetime opportunity all rolled into one.”

Since the record of decision in 2016, the installation’s operational and support elements have been preparing for the arrival of the F-35 in the spring of 2020.

“Lt. Col. Christensen will need to draw on the expertise and pioneering efforts of Airmen across the 354th FW to do it,” Skalicky said. “And there’s no one I trust more with that responsibility.”


Facebook Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: What an honor to accompany @SecAFOfficial on her first trip to meet our deployed #Airmen. Looking forward to introduci…
#USAF's 555th Fighter Squadron a.k.a the Triple Nickel and their F-16 Fighting Falcons recently deployed for the fi… https://t.co/0qCMua0WAi
RT @FedExField: Swearing-In Ceremony during the @Redskins #SaluteToService Game. 🇺🇸 https://t.co/pox97AAekX
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Watch USAFE-AFAFRICA Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Basham & @RoyalAirForce Air Marshal Gerry M. Mayhew explain why our strong U.…
RT @cmsaf18: “You (don’t) become a #leader by fighting your way to the top. Rather, you become a leader by helping others to the top.” - W…
RT @USAFCENT: SHARED COMMITMENT | The Commander of the Qatar Emiri Air Force, Staff MG Pilot Salem Bin Hamad Al-Nabet, met with Lt. Gen. Gu…
RT @HQ_AFMC: Our teams at the @AFResearchLab are forever #innovating ... even in the ways they approach problem solving! #creativity #Airme
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Let there be no mistake about our continued commitment to the region. I look forward to continuing the important dialo…
RT @DeptofDefense: A @usairforce airman w/the 909th Air Refueling Squadron, performs refuel training w/ROK Air Force F-16D Falcon during a…
RT @AFGlobalStrike: When you spend 24 hour alerts in the silo, it becomes a second home… Learn about how the 341st Force Support Squadron a…
.@GenDaveGoldfein engaged recruits this past #VeteransDay weekend, asking each why they chose to serve prior to con… https://t.co/vToX52rixv
RT @USAFCENT: DETERRENCE | Check out the view from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 as it refuels F-22 Raptors and U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers over no…
RT @AFSpace: The Vandenberg Tracking Station is a remote station in Calif., operating w/in the Air Force Satellite Control Network. This st…
#Airmen at @CannonAFB_ rolled out a new smart toolkit to help improve productivity and overall efficiency for work… https://t.co/DFsNQqVDz8
As America’s top cover, ICBM operators have the Specialty Code of 13N, allowing #USAF to recognize these profession… https://t.co/G6aNX0FSLI
RT @USAFCENT: INTEROPERABILITY | A Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft refuels a USAF F-22 Raptor, Nove…
DYK - Pitch Day events are continuing @AFLCMC Nov. 13-14 in Dayton, Ohio. #USAF's Life Cycle Management Center is r… https://t.co/LH5XmKuVff
You'll want to add this one to your playlist. https://t.co/aZXefMZocR