Alaska joint base will host Air Force’s first multinational force training center
Stars and Stripes March 21, 2023
The Air Force has chosen Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska to host the service’s first integrated center capable of joint and multinational force training.
Construction of the Joint Integrated Test and Training Center at the Anchorage base is expected to begin this fall, the service said Monday in a news release.
The roughly 116 personnel who will man the center will begin arriving in 2027, the Air Force said.
Attendees to the center will be able to “blend synthetic and live-fly training while focusing on training events specific to employment of tactical joint assets,” the Air Force said.
The center will use “realistic threat scenarios” focusing on the U.S. military’s “pacing” challenge, Col. Kevin Jamieson, commander of the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf-Richardson, said in the release.
Pentagon officials routinely refer to China as America’s leading pacing threat.
“This training capability is critical to ensure our men and women will be ready to perform their duties on Night-1 of a conflict if called upon and will be the premier training venue for decades to come,” he said.
Two squadrons of F-22 fighter jets are based at Elmendorf-Richardson, and 54 F-35 jets are at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks.
Air Force officials have boasted that Alaska is now home to more fifth-generation fighters than any other place in the world.
Pacific Air Forces’ Red Flag combat air exercise is held four times a year in 67,000 square miles of airspace over Joint Pacific Range Complex and a portion of Canada. International allies and partners have routinely participated in the exercise since it began in Alaska in 1992.
“From our position in Alaska, Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson is uniquely situated to protect the homeland and project joint forces,” Col. David Wilson, commander of the 673rd Air Base Wing at the joint base, said in the release.