Pentagon acquisition executive Ash Carter presented awards to five US military installations for their excellence despite the demands of war and recent natural disasters. Among them were Spangdahlem AB, Germany, and JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. “The installations that we recognize today have truly led—led by example, led by setting the standard for excellence,” Carter said during the Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence presentation ceremony Wednesday in the Pentagon. The award recognized Spangdahlem officials’ efforts to create and sustain USAF’s largest flying hour program in Europe and acknowledged the superior support to mission and family readiness at Pearl Harbor-Hickam as the installation transitioned to a joint base. Also winning were: the Army Garrison in Wiesbaden, Germany; Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, Calif.; and Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime in Columbus, Ohio. (AFPS report by Cheryl Pellerin) (DOD release)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.