A Russian air force delegation led by its Chief, Col.-Gen. Alexander Nikolayevich Zelin, visited Barksdale AFB, La., as part of the US Air Force Chief of Staff Counterpart Visit Program. Zenin and his group met with senior Air Force Global Strike Command officials, including Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski, AFGSC boss, to discuss training, safety, and other areas of common interest. Zelin and his team participated in two briefings during the early April visit: one hosted by the 2nd Bomb Wing on the B-52, and one including Kowalski to discuss the challenges of the strategic deterrence mission. Zenin also got to sit in a B-52’s cockpit on the flightline. The Counterpart Visit Program is designed to strengthen bilateral relations and provide visiting nations’ air force leaders with a first-hand view of the Air Force, while illustrating programs of mutual interest. (Barksdale report by Megan Meyer)
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.