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Team Kingsley shows off Total Force flying training

maintainer talking

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Joseph Rodgers, 173rd Maintenance Group, explains the challenges faced by the non-destructive inspection team as they maintain the aging F-15C aircraft to Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of the Air Education and Training Command, at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon Aug. 12, 2021. Webb had his first visit to the Total Force team, the sole F-15C training base for the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar)

Airmen talking

U.S. Air Force Colonel Lee Bouma, 173rd Maintenance Group commander, discusses the challenges the maintainers face with Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of the Air Education and Training Command, at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon Aug. 12, 2021. Webb had his first visit to the Total Force team, the sole F-15C training base for the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar)

AETC commander

U.S. Air Force Lt. General Brad Webb, commander of the Air Education and Training Command, listens to Tech. Sgt. Brandon Meserve, 173rd Maintenance Group, about the challenges of maintaining the aging F-15C aircraft at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon Aug. 12, 2021. Webb had his first visit to the Total Force team, the sole F-15C training base for the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar)

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore.-- Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Education and Training Command, visited here Aug. 12 for his first look at the Total Force mission and Airmen of the 173rd Fighter Wing.

Team Kingsley highlighted how they execute the important mission of training the Air Force’s newest F-15 Eagle Drivers while preparing to transition to the F-15EX in the near future.

 “At the end of the day, though we talk about the F-15C and the F-15EX, our nation’s asymmetric advantage is our Airmen, and it is showcased in our professional NCO corps,” he said.  “You have examples all over this base, and I recognized a number of them today. NCOs that are leading way above their pay grade, outside their job description, and they do it with enthusiasm because they can orient on the mission.  This is the key to victory.”   

Webb toured the maintenance facilities and had a chance to discuss the successes and challenges F-15C maintainers face when supporting the more than 40-year-old aircraft.

“It's always invigorating to see dedicated Airmen everywhere that I visit,” said Webb. “Their motto ‘Land of No Slack’ is not just slogan, it is a culture of excellence ingrained within Team Kingsley.”

After touring the maintenance facilities, Webb had lunch with Team Kingsley leaders and Airmen. The Airmen had the chance to ask questions and share their thoughts with Webb during the informal sit down.

After lunch, the team went to the operations group, which is the heart of the F-15C schoolhouse. Webb saw the state-of-the-art facilities and classrooms, and met with student pilots and instructors.

“The number one core mission of the Air Force is air superiority and it enables the success of the rest of the joint team,” said Webb.  “The F-15C is fundamental to that mission, and so training and developing that foundation here is what makes this unit particularly important.”

After visiting the schoolhouse, the team headed over to the 550th Fighter Squadron. It is the active duty component at Kingsley Field and the largest Total Force active association in AETC.

Webb applauded the wing’s Total Force integration success and noted the benefits of the unified team. 

“The Total Force arrangement we have here seems seamless,” said Webb.  “Walking around today I couldn’t tell who are Guardsmen, and who are active duty Airmen.  That is a mark of real integration success.”

 
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