In addition to a new bomber force (see above), Air Combat Command has dispatched 18 F-15E and more than 400 airmen from the 389th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, to Andersen AFB, Guam, as part of the next Pacific region deterrence force. A big plus for the Strike Eagle force is the ability to conduct larger scale training scenarios in the more open airspace. “We are looking forward to integrating with other agencies and training with the Navy in both small and large scale exercises,” said Maj. Ki Jackson, 389th EFS instructor pilot. He added that the fighters would also get to train in maritime interdiction missions, and “our support personnel such as the crew chiefs, fuels, phase, ammo, intelligence, weather and many more will have the chance to hone their skills as well.” Host to the strategic rotations, Brig. Gen. Doug Owens, 36th Wing commander, said, “These rotations and the training they afford are also absolutely essential for us to be able to respond quickly to any event or security situation the commander of US Pacific Command might need us to do in the nation’s interest.” (Anderson report by Staff Sgt. Stephen Teel)
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.