The U.S. Air Force reactivated the 356th Fighter Squadron at the Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska on Oct. 10, in preparation for the arrival of the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.
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.”
“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. 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.