Members of the 19th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, in recent days took possession of the 2009 Raytheon Trophy that recognizes the Air Force’s best air-to-air fighter squadron. This is the second time since 2000 that the F-15 unit has won the award. According to Elmendorf officials, the squadron “maintained the highest-level alert in Alaska” and received an “outstanding” grade in its last operational readiness inspection. Pacific Air Forces officials announced back in April that the unit had won the trophy. It was handed over on June 4. The 19th FS is one of the units set for decommissioning later this year as part of the Air Force’s legacy fighter drawdown. (Elmendorf photo caption by SrA. Cynthia Spalding)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.