Pacaf mission statement

Pacaf mission statement DEFAULT

Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (JBPHH)

Join us during the 25th Annual FBC Hawaii Technology Day Series for our Technology Day at JBPHH on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. This annual series of technology days takes place at six military bases around the island of Oahu, HI. These events have a successful history of bringing together the islands DoD personnel, employees, and contractors with industry partners to share information on some of the latest advancements in the areas of Information Technology (IT), C4, Cybersecurity, Communications, and Tactical Technologies.


For more information about FBC's Hawaii Series visit


Several speaking opportunities are available for this event for companies that exhibit.


Expected attendance will include personnel from Navy Region Hawaii, Commander US Pacific Fleet, NAVFAC, FISC, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, SPAWAR, DISAPAC, Information Technology Contracting Command, JB6 IT IA & Comms, 15th Air Base Wing, HQ PACAF, PACAF A6, 747 Communications Squadron, Hawaii Air National Guard, and more.


About the 747th Communications Squadron:

The mission of the 747th Communications Squadron (747 CS), USAF, Pacific Air Force, (PACAF) is to deliver communications and informational capabilities to enable Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, 13th Air Force, 15th Wing, 67 tenant organizations and 13 geographically separated units (GSUs) to project peace and power throughout the Pacific and beyond.



Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) is a Major Command of the USAF. PACAF is also the air component of the USPACOM. PACAF is headquartered at JBPHH Hawaii. It is one of two USAF Major Commands assigned outside of the Continental United States. The mission of Pacific Air Forces is to provide ready air and space power to promote U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific region during peacetime, through crisis, and in war. PACAF organizes, trains, and equips the 45,000 Total Force personnel with the tools necessary to support the Commander of USPACOM. PACAF comprises four numbered Air Forces, nine main bases, and nearly 375 aircraft.


About Navy Region Hawaii:

Navy Region Hawaii oversees the U.S. Navy's largest and most strategic island base in the Pacific. The Navy region extends over 23,000 acres of land and water on Oahu and Kauai and serves as the host for the headquarters of seven major Navy commands, including the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Navy Region Hawaii enables Navy and joint operations, providing Base Operating Support that is capabilities-based, integrated, and optimally ready. People, our most valuable resource, achieve success through innovation and process and performance. Quality of Service defines our covenant of leadership. 

Relevant Government Agencies

Air Force, Navy & Marine Corps, DOD & Military


Awards and Recognition

Food Services

Service excellence is our primary goal at Global Connections to Employment (GCE) and has led to some significant contributions in the food services industry. We’ve also achieved honors through service to our Armed Services food services contracts.

Best in PACAF Award

Best in PACAF Award

The GCE team, at Two Seasons Dining Facility at the Eielson Air Force Base in Eielson, Alaska. received the title - Best Dining Facility in PACAF 2017. The GCE team exhibited excellence in management effectiveness, force readiness support, food quality, employee and customer relations, resource conservation and training, and safety awareness.

United States Army Philip A. Connelly Award

United States Army Philip A. Connelly Award

The Philip A. Connelly Competition has been in existence since March 1968. This annual, competitive event is a partnership between the U.S. Army and the National Restaurant Association, and recognizes excellence in food service throughout the Army.

• The Courage Inn Dining Facility at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Army Base Fort Lewis, Tacoma, WA was recognized in 2014 and 2015.

• The 16th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) Raptor's Nest Dining Facility, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Army Base Fort Lewis, Tacoma, WA, was recognized in 2018.

• Eglin Air Force Base 7th Special Forces 2019

United States Air Force Hennessy Award

United States Air Force Hennessy Award

Established in 1957, the John L. Hennessy Award is the highest honor an Air Force dining facility can attain. It was named for the late John L. Hennessy, a hotel and restaurant executive who led an advisory group responsible for improving military food service. The Hennessy Award promotes food service excellence by encouraging competition among providers. GCE achieved this award several times at two of our military contract installations:

  • Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, FL: 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012
  • Duke Field, U.S. Air Force Reserve, Crestview, FL: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2012

Gold Plate Award

Gold Plate Award

The major U.S. Air Force commands award the Gold Plate Award to the best food service operation within their authority. The Air Force Material Command has awarded this honor to the Eglin Air Force Base food services operations for the following years: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 2010, 2011 and 2012.

United States Navy Capt. Edward F. Ney Memorial Award

United States Navy Capt. Edward F. Ney Memorial Award

Established in 1958, the Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award is the highest honor given to U.S. Navy food service operations to recognize food service excellence. The galleys honored achieve a five-star rating from the Navy evaluation team. The award is designed to improve food services by encouraging competition among food service operations. It was named for the Navy captain who served as the head of the Subsistence Division of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts from 1940 to 1945. The following food service operations under contract with GCE have received recognition under the Ney Award program:

United States Coast Guard Forrest O. Rednour Memorial Award

United States Coast Guard Forrest O. Rednour Memorial Award

The Forrest O. Rednour Memorial Award for Excellence in Food Service is presented annually to recognize U.S. Coast Guard dining facilities that exemplify the best in food service professionalism. Although the award program has been in existence since 1995, in 2008 it was renamed to honor the World War II era Ships Cook Second Class who heroically helped rescue survivors of a torpedoed transport vessel only to later lose his life in the line of duty.

  1. Converse make your own shoes
  2. Craigslist boat tampa
  3. Fringe cast imdb

Air Force Units

Mission Statement

15th Wing

The mission of the 15th Wing is to develop and sustain combat-ready Airmen, in partnership with the total force, to provide global mobility, global reach, precision engagement and agile combat support anytime, anywhere.

The wing is a subordinate command of the 11th Air Force and reports to the 11 AF commander. Major responsibilities of the wing are providing airlift throughout the Pacific with the C-17s stationed at Hickam, providing maintenance and refueling  for aircraft transiting Hickam between the Continental United States and the Western Pacific, and housing and feeding transient personnel. There are nine C-17 Globemaster IIIs assigned to the 15th Wing.

Two Special Air Mission aircraft are also assigned: a C-40 and a C-37; both are flown by the wing’s 65th Airlift Squadron, providing airlift for the United States Pacific Command and the Pacific Air Forces commanders.

15th Maintenance Group

Approximately 500 active-duty, Hawaii Air National Guard, Department of the Air Force civilian and contractor personnel are assigned to this total force organization. This diverse maintenance organization supports and provides quality maintenance for nine C-17s, 20 F-22s, one C-37 and one C-40 to meet global airlift, global strike and theater security mission requirements. The 15th Maintenance Group consists of two squadrons, each with specific functions.

The 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron performs aircraft inspections, servicing, launch, recovery, and both scheduled sustainment and unscheduled maintenance repair actions for all assigned aircraft in support of global contingency, humanitarian, exercise and training operations.

The 15th Maintenance Squadron provides back shop and off-equipment maintenance support for home station aircraft and 6,500 annual joint and allied transient aircraft. These functions are heavy maintenance inspection and repair; wheel and tire buildup; fuels, electrical, environmental, hydraulic and propulsion system maintenance; avionics; structural, welding, machining, corrosion control and nondestructive inspections; munitions; aerospace ground equipment support; and operation of a regional Precision Measurement and Equipment Laboratory.

15th Operations Group

The 15th Operations Group is comprised of five distinct squadrons: the 65th Airlift Squadron, 535th Airlift Squadron, 15th Operations Support Squadron and two Total Force Integration squadrons, the 19th Fighter Squadron and 96th Air Refueling Squadron.

With just over 300 personnel, the 15th Operations Group is responsible for overseeing the safe and effective use of over $2 billion in F-22A, KC-135R, C-17A, C-37 and C-40 aircraft executing a $55.3 million flying-hour program in support of worldwide airlift requirements.

The 65th Airlift Squadron provides global airlift on specifically configured C-40B and C-37A aircraft supporting the Commander, U.S. Pacific Command (CDRUSPACOM); Commander, Pacific Air Forces (COMPACAF), and U.S. and foreign dignitaries in support in direct support of U.S. foreign policy.

The 535th Airlift Squadron provides combat-ready C-17A aircrew for the execution of worldwide airlift missions supporting national security and Department of Defense directives. They maintain mission readiness in night vision goggle (NVG), aerial refueling, airdrop, low-level, austere airfield and emergency nuclear airlift operations in support of JCS exercises, global contingencies, presidential support, humanitarian airlift and aeromedical evacuations.

The 19th Fighter Squadron is a combat-ready fighter squadron prepared to mobilize, deploy and employ the F-22 air dominance fighter in support of worldwide combatant commanders. It performs daily air sovereignty alert missions for PACOM, covering 300,000 square miles. It conducts graduate-level training, enabling pilots to exploit unique advantages of the world’s only fifth-generation fighter. It maintains readiness in the full spectrum of F-22 air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons employment.

The 96th Air Refueling Squadron is an active associate KC-135R Total Force Integration unit, increasing worldwide air refueling combat capability through force optimization and utilization of 11 154th Wing HIANG aircraft. The unit is responsible to create effect of rapid projection and application of joint U.S. military power across the full spectrum of operations and is tasked to bolster Global Mobility CONOPS air refueling and expeditionary air mobility operations capability by generating qualified combat aircrews.

The 15th Operations Squadron provides combat aircrew support for the full spectrum of 15th Wing air operations to include aircrew training, combat tactics, intelligence, operations scheduling, life support, and combat weather services for transient and wing aircrews. They also supply airfield management oversight of the U.S. Air Force’s largest shared-use airfield, providing flight operations and en route support for over 9,800 aircraft and the deployed operations of over 50 units annually. They are also responsible for maintaining oversight of theater flight records for 450 aviators in eight countries.

647th Air Base Group

The 647th Air Base Group provides integrated installation and base support for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, with approximately 900 personnel in six diverse squadrons. The air base group commander also serves as the deputy commander Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The group’s mission is to deliver, improve and sustain wartime mission support and combat-ready Airmen and families.

The Force Support Squadron (FSS) maintains mission-ready forces through development, readiness and sustainment support while providing world-class personnel and family services. FSS directly supports military in the DFAC, Flight Kitchen, lodging and fitness centers. Additional support services include mortuary affairs, readiness, Honor Guard, military and civilian personnel, manpower, education, family readiness, Equal Opportunity, Joint Base Public Affairs and chapel services. The FSS commander also serves as the liaison to the joint base commander as the JB1, Manpower and administration officer, responsible for all Air Force and Navy human resource assets.

The Security Forces Squadron (SFS) SFS provides ready-to-deploy, Air Force, warfighting defenders in support of contingencies and functions. SFS organizes, trains and equips mission-ready, resilient, air-minded security forces to delivering enduring integrated defense against threats and also protects off-base Air Force mission facilities at Kaena Point and Kokee AFS. The SFS commander also serves as the liaison to the joint base commander as the JB2, performing integrated base defense and law enforcement throughout the main base and all JBPHH annexes (i.e., West Loch, Wahiawa, Lualualei). This includes providing entry control, vehicle inspection, Pass & ID, combat arms and military working dog (drug and explosive detector) support for JBPHH.

The Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) organizes, trains and equips expeditionary civil engineers providing warfighting-ready engineering support for facilities and infrastructure, emergency management, fire protection and explosive ordnance disposal. The CES commander also serves as the liaison to the joint base commander as the deputy JB4 role, accountable for life-cycle management of NAVFAC/CNIC real property, product and service delivery, Supported Command interface, project execution and performance assessment spanning the joint base. CES is a vital squadron on JBPHH that manages over 4,200 facilities, 30,000 acres, four dry docks and 31 piers valued over $19.4 billion, supporting 38,000 military and civilian personnel in over 165 tenant commands and activities.

The Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) organizes, trains and equips expeditionary logistics professionals in five distinct AFSCs and provides Air Force combat mobility support. The LRS commander also serves as the liaison to the joint base commander as the JB41/NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center-Pearl Harbor Code 450, managing $42 million in aircraft parts and inventory, support equipment and chem-gear. LRS also provides 24/7 Air Force transportation ops (DV, aircrew support, parts and equipment), Total Force Integration cargo movement, between the 15th Wing and HIANG, installation reception, deployment, and redeployment, and is responsible for the Air Force War Reserve Materiel (WRM).

The Contracting Squadron (CONS) provides warfighting-ready contracting Airmen. The 647 CONS directly supports HQ PACAF, PACOM, tenant units, 15 WG, 647 ABG, Bellows AFS and the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies customers. CONS executes over $138 million contract actions annually, manages a $1.2 billion contract portfolio, oversees a $5 million government purchase card program, and supports combat operations and humanitarian missions in several areas of the world, which include AFCENT, CENTCOM and PACOM, for a total of 2,364 deployed man days in 2012. In Oct. 1, 2013, 647 CONS was redesignated as 766 Specialized Contracting Squadron (SCONS) under the Air Force Installation Contracting Agency (AFICA).

The 747 Communications Squadron (CS) delivers warfighting communications and info capabilities for HQ PACAF, Hickam and 67 tenant units totaling over 9,000 users, managing a $160 million network, 140 antennas, executive communication support, telephone support, airfield communication, COMSEC and Information Assurance, as well as serving as the joint base interface for communications and information capabilities that affect the entire Hickam population.

Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command

The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command conducts global search, recovery and laboratory operations to identify unaccounted-for Americans from past conflicts in order to support the Department of Defense’s personnel accounting efforts.

The command is located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii and was activated Oct. 1, 2003. Employing more than 500 joint military and civilian personnel, JPAC continues its search for the more than 83,000 Americans still unaccounted-for from past conflicts. The laboratory portion of JPAC, referred to as the Central Identification Laboratory, is the largest and most diverse forensic skeletal laboratory in the world.

The command maintains three permanent detachments to assist with command and control, logistics and in-country support during investigation and recovery operations. Detachment 1 is located in Bangkok, Thailand; Detachment 2 in Hanoi, Vietnam; and Detachment 3 in Vientiane, Laos.

The core of JPAC’s day-to-day operations involves researching case files, investigating leads, excavating sites and identifying Americans who were killed in action but were never brought home. This process involves close coordination with U.S. agencies involved in the POW/MIA issue, including the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, the appropriate Service Casualty Office, U.S. Pacific Command, Department of State, the Joint Staff, Defense Intelligence Agency, the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory and the U.S. Air Force’s Life Sciences Equipment Laboratory.

To learn more about the JPAC mission follow us on Facebook at JPAC Teams.

PACAF Command Video

Click here to listen to the audio file.

Moderator:  Good day, everyone, from the U.S. Department of State’s Asia Pacific Media Hub in Manila.  I’m the Hub Director, Zia Syed, and I want to thank you all for joining this briefing.  Today we are pleased to be joined from Hawaii, U.S. Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) Commander General Ken Wilsbach.  We’ll begin today’s call with opening remarks from the general.  We’ll try to get to as many questions as we can during the time that we have.

Finally, as a reminder, today’s call is on the record.  And with that, I will turn it over to General Wilsbach.

General Wilsbach:  All right, thanks everybody, and good afternoon, good evening, and good morning to folks all over the world really, and it’s really an honor to be with you and I really want to thank you for taking your precious time out to spend some time with me and ask me some questions and then just have a dialogue.  So it’s really a great opportunity for me and I hope you feel the same way.  I’m looking forward to hearing your questions.

But before we get to that, let me just take just a few minutes and then I won’t speak long because really I want to hear your questions.  But just to give you a few opening comments about what we think about at Pacific Air Forces and in the Indo-Pacific.  And the first thing is our objective, our military objective — it should be clear to you, but hopefully – so I’ll just reiterate it.  It’s to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific region.  And we do that through a number of activities and operations throughout the region.  But what I would say, the main foundation of this is working with our allies and partners because we find it extremely important that there are a number of like-minded nations around this region who also think that the Indo-Pacific should be free and open, and they work with us to be able to do that.

From the standpoint of the Pacific Air Forces, we’re talking about the United States Air Force.  But we clearly are only just one service.  And so we also work with U.S. Space Force, United States Marines, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Army to work together to achieve that objective of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

And so that is something that I think should be understood foundationally.  And when you think about a free and open Indo-Pacific, it’s our assessment that there’s a few entities in this region that don’t actually want that.  And who I’m talking about now is Russia, North Korea, as well as China.  And when I say China, I’m talking about the Communist Party of China.  And so we find ourselves in competition with these countries and – because they don’t want a free and open in Pacific, and we and our allies and partners do.  And so those activities that we do and execute around the region are meant to comply with the rules-based international order and international law, but [also] to challenge the assertions of North Korea and Russia and China so that we can realize the free and open Indo-Pacific.

And so that, as a way of opening the discussion, are the main things that we think about here at PACAF.  And so with that as a very brief introductory comment, let me turn it over to the questions.

Moderator:  Thank you very much.  We will now begin the question-and-answer portion of today’s call.

Our first question will go to Quoc Dat Duong from Zing News in Hanoi, Vietnam.  Quoc Dat, please go ahead.  If not, I’m going to move on.  Can we go ahead and move to the next questioner?  And that will be — Gordon Arthur from Shephard Media in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Question:  You talked about a free and open Indo-Pacific.  And I’m just wondering how concerned you are about the vulnerability of some of your facilities in places like Guam and perhaps in East Asia, also supply routes across the Pacific, perhaps threatened by Chinese missiles or aircraft or whatever.  And just wondering what PACAF is doing to improve the situation, to harden some of the bases, perhaps.

General Wilsbach:  Yes.  So certainly, I mean, it doesn’t take a military expert to realize that the Chinese military capability has made significant improvements over the last several years.  And one of those areas is in ballistic missiles and their capability to reach out beyond the first island chain and really threaten, not just us, in the second island chain or perhaps even beyond that, even to the continental United States and others of our allies and partners.  So we’ve been watching that through our intelligence collection, and have also been working on ways to defend ourselves.

And so, one of the ways that you can defend yourself is to have a defensive capability to be able to target those inbound missiles.  And you talked about China, but we also have concerns about, for similar reasons, for Russia and North Korea because both of those countries also have had significant developments in their missile capability.  And so this answer really applies to those three countries.

But – so when you talk specifically about Guam, which was a great example, but we have this capability in other places — is we do have countering capabilities with the THAAD missile system as well as the Patriot missile system.  And then in Guam, I think you may have heard the plans, hopefully, to install the Aegis Ashore, which gives us even more capabilities.  So that is one aspect – and not necessarily a hardening, but it’s a defensive measure that we can put in place.  And we do have those in multiple places around the region, as do a number of our allies and partners also have that capability.  And we’re continuously improving those systems to account for advancements in the threat that we perceive.  So, that’s the counter-ballistic missile capability.

But there’s another strategy that we have started to employ in the last few years, which is a strategy called Agile Combat Employment (ACE).  And the tenets of ACE are, in lieu of being very built-up on extremely large bases, to disperse the forces to many hubs and spokes so that you would be moving about between the hubs and spokes multiple times per day, multiple times per week.  And you would be quite agile and quite mobile.  And so what that does is it takes a few very built-up bases as targets, and it creates a targeting problem for any adversary because not only would they have to target the hubs, but they would also have to target the spokes.  And that really dilutes the amount of firepower that they can put down on any one of those targets.

And so we’ve been expanding the envelope on ACE in about the last five or six years in PACAF.  And I will say that a number of our allies and partners are also quite interested in this strategy and have joined us.  And so, as you pay attention to our operations throughout the Pacific, you’re going to see this, or you may have already seen quite a bit of this going on throughout the region as we exercise this and we practice it.

Moderator:  Thank you very much.  Next if we can go to Sofia Tomacruz from the Philippines, from Rappler.  Sofia, please go ahead.

Question:  Good morning.  Thank you for this briefing.  I just wanted to ask a little bit more about specifically the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States.  If you can give us more perspective about how relevant is it for the U.S., in light of the situation in the region now and its military objectives, as you mentioned.  And as a second follow-up question, with negotiations on the deal having been concluded, can you tell us more about the U.S. position on the agreement?  Is this decision up — for either defending it or pushing through with the termination?  Thank you.

General Wilsbach:  Let me just make sure because there was a period where you cut out to me for a little bit.  And I just want to make sure all of your question was referencing the Visiting Forces Agreement.  You didn’t branch to anything else by the second part of your question, correct?

Question:  Yes.  Referencing just the Visiting Forces Agreement.  But I guess in light of that also, as well, knowing that the Visiting Forces Agreement is also important for the Mutual Defense Treaty.

General Wilsbach:  Yes, thanks for your question on that.  So what I’ll tell you is that, as you might imagine, at the operational level where I’m at as the commander of the Pacific Air Forces, I am the benefactor of a Visiting Forces Agreement, or the lack thereof.  If there’s not one, then that restricts what I can do in the Philippines.

And so with that being said, I’m very confident in our State Department colleagues that are doing the negotiation with the Philippines to figure out what the Visiting Forces Agreement will be in the end.  And so I’m quite confident that between the Government of the Philippines and the State Department from the United States, we’ll get to some agreement in the future.  And then that will then inform what we will be permitted to do in everyday, day-to-day training and real-world operations.  And then that will also inform what, any kind of response to a mutual defense activity we could do.

So with that, I mean, so I don’t have much insight into the actual negotiations because I’m not actually participating in them.  But I’m confident that the two governments can come to an agreement and meet their shared interest, and their individual interests, and we’ll get to a spot where we can – we, the military, once the agreement is made, we can train together, operate together, and if called upon and directed by my bosses, execute the tenets of the Mutual Defense Treaty.

Moderator:  Thank you very much.  Next if we can go to Brad Lendon from CNN in Hong Kong.  Brad, if you’re there, please go ahead.

Question:  Thanks for taking my question, General.  Could you comment on reports that U.S. reconnaissance around China and over the South China Sea is at record levels?  I think I saw 70-some flights last month of Air Force and Navy, according to the South China Sea Probing Initiative.  Any comment on just the level of reconnaissance?

General Wilsbach:  Well, I wouldn’t say that it’s a record.  But I’m not the one keeping the records, and you can always – you know how statistics work.  You can always make the statistic work out to make a headline like that.  What I will tell you is that we are flying a fair amount of sorties throughout the Indo-Pacific region that are collecting intelligence.  And the follow-on question is, why are you doing that?  And I think it’s important for us to take a few moments for me to express why we’re doing that.

And the reason why we’re doing that is because of all of the activity that our adversaries are executing, and we want to keep a close eye on that because we use it for indications and warnings.  And so when I look around the Pacific and I see particularly Chinese military executing missions into the South China Sea, East China Sea, going in close proximity to islands that are claimed by other countries, when I see them executing what looks to be simulated attacks on our partners as well as our own bases, we want to have a full understanding of what that’s about.  And we want to be able to track their military activities.  We want to be able to understand any testing and acquisitions with new equipment that they have made.  And so that is why we are collecting.

And when you combine all of the advancements in military capability that we’d like to know with a lot of the other what I think is nefarious activities by the Chinese Communist Party – by taking over islands in the South and East China Sea that don’t belong to them, making islands in international water space that never belonged to them.  I think you said you’re from Hong Kong — we’re tracking what’s happened in Hong Kong recently, with the promise from the CCP that you could execute democratic principles, and then taking that away.  And then the dust-up that we’ve seen on the border with India, and moving into territory that was claimed by India.  And the economic coercion that’s going on all over the world, but a lot that’s happening in this region. And I can keep going with the activities that the CCP has been doing.

And so there’s a lack of trust by China, not by just the United States but many, many others.  I mean, you look at what’s going to happen this year with the U.K. coming out into the region with the Queen Elizabeth, and the French are coming out, and the Germans are interested.  And the reason is because they are all perceiving these activities by China, and the trust for China is extremely low.  So, all of this combined mistrust between us and the allies and partners is driving us to want to know a lot about what China is up to militarily, because we don’t want any surprises.

Moderator:  Thank you very much.  Next we will go to Hye Jun Seo, who is with Korean Broadcasting System (KBS).  Hye Jun, please go ahead.

Question:  Thank you for taking my question.  So, my question is:  Are there any kind of strategic changes towards North Korea after the Biden administration finalized the North Korean policy review?  And also, how would you assess U.S.-ROK joint military exercises when the U.S. – actually, North Korea again criticized the exercises, considering it as raising tension in the region?  Thank you.

General Wilsbach:  Yes.  Let me answer the second part of your question first because I think you’re actually referring to what came out today, discussing about the Republic of Korea Air Force participating in RED FLAG-Alaska.  And if that wasn’t it, come back to me and I can address it in a different way.

But we are allies.  We’re treaty allies with the Republic of Korea, as we are with others in the region.  And we all hold training exercises, and training is a normal, day-to-day operation that militaries all over the world conduct.  And so the fact that we have the Republic of Korea Air Force at RED FLAG-Alaska upcoming is normal.  It shouldn’t be seen as anything other than routine training.  It just happens to be in Alaska.  It is not in any way meant to be escalatory to the region or destabilizing to the region.  All it is meant to be is proficiency and readiness for air force crews, and that’s it.

And I got so excited about your question I forgot the first – oh, I know.  The first part of your question was:  Has there been any changes to the policy vis-a-vis North Korea since the Biden administration has come into power.  And I would say that no, overall my guidance from the Secretary of Defense was, steady as she goes.  And what we had been executing from a strategy with respect to North Korea during the Trump administration, we’re executing that same strategy with the Biden administration.

And I would like to say, just in closing, that we have a very strong relationship with the Republic of Korea.  And the Combined Forces Command is very tight, and as you might know from my bio, my previous job, I was the deputy U.S. Forces Korea commander as well as the commander for Seventh Air Force, which is all the air forces in Korea.  And we work day-to-day, side by side, with the Koreans, not just in the Air Force but within all the services.  And that relationship is as solid as they get.  And so, things are good on the peninsula right now, as far as I’m concerned.

Moderator:  Thank you very much.  Next if we can go to Elvis Chang from NTDAPTV in Taiwan.  Elvis, go ahead.

Question:  Thank you.  Good morning General.  The Malaysian Government said 16 CCP air force planes intruded into their airspace May 31st.  And the CCP’s air force also continues to intrude into Taiwan’s ADIZ.  And these activities happen during the epidemic.  Could you share some comments on these activities, please?  Thank you.

General Wilsbach:  Yes.  I think I understood your question.  And let me just restate it, and if I get it wrong, if you would please correct me.  But I think what you said is that there’s been an unprecedented number of incursions by Chinese aircraft into Taiwan’s airspace, and this even was happening during the pandemic.  And you’d like for me to respond to it.  Is that your question?

Moderator:  I can just jump in here because he submitted his question in advance.  It was also that the Malaysian Government has said that CCP air force has also intruded into their airspace on May 31st.  So that was part one.  And part two was Taiwan’s ADIZ.

General Wilsbach:  I got it.  So yes, we’ve been watching.  As you might imagine, we watch extremely closely all of the air activity that happens around the region.  And we actually have a pretty sophisticated sensing grid so that we can track movement, not just by Chinese aircraft but by all of them.  But we are paying attention probably more closely to Chinese aircraft than any others, for reasons that I stated previously.  And it adds to the list of destabilizing activities and also escalatory activities.  And we set ourselves up for miscalculations around the region when we have some of these activities, where we’re getting into people’s airspace that we shouldn’t.

So that being said, the region has a lot of international airspace, which we advocate for the lawful use of international airspace for military needs and other needs, like commerce and travel.  And we advocate for that all the time.  And so, if you’re going to use the airspace, use it in a lawful and respectful way to everyone so that we don’t have any miscalculations. We don’t have any safety incidences.  But as you go back to look at what China is doing, especially with respect to Taiwan, they are incurring cost on Taiwan because Taiwan has an air defense responsibility; at least, that’s what they feel.  And so, every time China comes out across the strait into the Taiwan airspace, then they react.  So I believe this is a strategy by China to invoke cost for the Taiwan Air Force.

Moderator:  Thank you very much.  We have about 10 minutes left, and we’ll try to get to as many questions as we can during that time.  Next if we could go to Andrew Beatty from AFP in Sydney, Australia.  Andrew, please go ahead.

Question:  General, I was wondering if you see any value in U.S. Air Force rotational deployments to Northern Australia, in the kind of way the Marines already do, during the exercises.  And secondly, just to follow up on your comments about dispersal of forces, are new bases in Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia on your list of priorities?  I’m thinking of places like [inaudible] or Palau, for example.

General Wilsbach:  You betcha.  We’ve been to Palau a number of times, and one thing you may have heard me say before, and I’ll say it again for this group, is when we look at possible places to disperse around the region, we’ve looked – and we’ve pretty much looked at every piece of concrete in the region, and we’ve analyzed it and assessed it for possible use as place to operate to and operate from.  And so, we have a significant database of information about every single airfield.  Some of them are not suitable for our needs, but a lot of them are, and so you will have seen us already operating from some.  Later in the summer, we’ll operate from some more.  We have, in fact, operated from Palau a number of times.  And thank you to the Government of Palau because they actually ask us to come in, which is amazing, and we’re very thankful for that.

To get to your question about Northern Australia — absolutely.  There’s always great value in training with the Australian Air Force and their joint services.  And in fact, we had plans last year and this year to get into Northern Australia, and those were either very much abbreviated or canceled because of the pandemic.  But we still have those on the books for this next year.  Those are still in somewhat jeopardy because of COVID, but we’re trying to be able to comply with the all of the international rules with regard to COVID and yet still get the exercises.

But absolutely, we do value every single training event that we have with Australia.  And we are so interoperable with the Royal Australian Air Force, and so the number of times that we get to fly with them it’s always beneficial.  In fact, I just actually got to fly with them in the E-7 here in Hawaii, and then I also flew in some missions with the E-7 airborne controlling us, and so it was fantastic training, and both sides always get quite a bit out of that.  And so, we’ll take as much as we can afford to do.

Moderator:  Thank you very much.  Next we’ll go to Kenji Kawase from Nikkei.  Kenji, if you’re there.

Question:  Hi.  Thank you very much, General.  Thank you very much for your taking your time for us today.  This is Kenji from Nikkei.  I’m from a Japanese newspaper but I’m based in Hong Kong.  So my question will be based around China.  First of all, I want to ask you the timing of this call, which is on June 4th for us.  Especially being here, this will be the first time that people in Hong Kong will not be able to commemorate the deaths 32 years ago, and I wish you would make some comment on this move that China has been suppressing Hong Kong in many ways, including the Tiananmen massacre 32 years ago.

And another one is overnight, I learned that President Biden had signed an executive order with regard to putting Chinese companies that are related to the Chinese military.  I wish from your perspective or from your standpoint — would you please give me your comment on this move by President Joe Biden, which this policy started from the Trump administration?  And also, how much is the threat of the Chinese military in terms of their technology as I think the context of President Biden signing the executive order is that their technology standard is actually going up?  Thank you very much.

General Wilsbach:  Yes.  So, arigato gozaimasu.  Thank you for your question.  And I will tell you that I touched on it in the earlier part of my remarks about Hong Kong, and the activities that are associated with what’s happening in Hong Kong is really so that the CCP can have ultimate power over the citizens there in Hong Kong, and frankly, for the rest of the entire Chinese nation.  And I mean, I have no beef with the Chinese people; I have a beef with the Chinese Communist Party.

And when we think about the Uyghurs in the western part of China and the atrocities that are happening there, it’s no surprise that they would suppress the discussions and the commemoration of Tiananmen Square because that’s another example of the Chinese Communist Party overplaying their hand and completely looking past human rights and the way to do things, which is why the world is looking at China with a microscope right now and their reputation is pretty lousy, frankly.  And so my heart goes out to you as a citizen of Hong Kong and know that we’re committed to trying to work a better outcome for you.

With respect to the policy on those companies that President Biden named that came out earlier today, my comment is that it highlights the way that the Chinese Communist Party does business in China, and that is that businesses in some way or ultimately work for the party, and the connections there would be – in our system would be considered – unethical.  But to protect our nation, and I think there’ll be some benefits to other nations, is to highlight the fact that Chinese companies that do business around the world, they have to pay some sort of tribute to the party in order to continue on, and that tribute oftentimes is in nefarious or unwarranted activities and other things that help the party and perhaps help – or hurt the buyer.  And so I think it’ll bring light to that, and so I’m happy that that policy came out.

And then with respect to the question about technology, and I would say yes, I mean, we’ve seen – especially on the military side – advancements, great advancements in the Chinese military capability, and they’ve really advanced themselves in about the last 10 years.  And so we all ought to be asking ourselves, for what?  That’s the first question, is why are you doing this?  And I think it’s pretty clear:  They want to be the only superpower and they want everybody else to kowtow to the Communist party.  But I also thing we ought to ask, how did they do this?  And one of the ways that they’ve done this is they’ve stolen the technology from the world.  They’ve stolen a lot of it from the United States, but they’ve stolen it from other countries as well, all over the world, and then they reverse engineer it and they manufacture it themselves.  And so the intellectual property theft is just another example of the CCP who has trouble complying with laws and norms and a rules-based order, and they really just look for what they can do to promote the party.

Moderator:  Thank you, General.  Next we’ll go to John Power from the South China Morning Post.  John, if you’re there, please go ahead.

Question:  Hi, thanks for taking the time.  It’s John Power in Hong Kong.  I was wondering if you would be able to speak to any concerns about Chinese buildup in Pacific islands.  In particular, there were recently reports that China was helping Kiribati to expand an airstrip there, and there have been reports about perhaps building of bases in places like Vanuatu as well.  Could you speak to those specific examples and, I suppose, just generally about what you see as China’s role in that part of the world?

General Wilsbach:  Yes.  So I see them taking over islands.  I see them building their own islands that never belonged to them and, frankly, somebody else – oftentimes other countries have claimed them historically.  And they coerce with overwhelming military power.  They also use their economic power to coerce, and we see a lot of predatory lending practices that at least the United States, we’ve outlawed – but they are executing that frequently where they’ll loan an insane amount of money to a country that they know can’t pay it back, and then when the bill comes due, they ask for concessions, which then gives them access.  And as I stated before, in a previous question, it’s clear to me that the CCP wants to become a superpower.  And when we hear what they say and when we read their writings, they don’t believe that there can be multiple superpowers.  They believe that there can only be one, and they want to return back to the glory days of China where everybody else was a vassal state and everybody comes and pays [tribute] to the emperor.  And the emperor now is the Chinese Communist Party.

And so in the region, the region and the world has a problem with this because it comes back to the main objectives that I stated in the beginning, which is it’s not a free and open Pacific; in fact, it’s an Indo-Pacific that is dictated by the Chinese Communist Party.  And there’s a lot of nations out there, including the United States, that have a problem with that.

So, as we see China going about the region and planting these bases, it’s clear to me that they’re trying to expand their influence, and create a situation where they can keep those that would be a counter to a free and open Indo-Pacific out.

Moderator:  Thank you very much.  We still have another 10 minutes or so, so please stay on the line if you’re asking questions, although, please, we do ask that you limit your question to one question only.

Let’s go ahead and go back to where we tried earlier, Duong Quoc Dat from Zing News in Hanoi, Vietnam.  If you’re there, please go ahead, Quoc.

Question:  Hello.  I want to ask one question.  Recently the USS Ronald Reagan, the only U.S. aircraft carrier in East Asia, was moved to the Middle East.  So without an aircraft carrier, what can the Air Force do to fill the gap, especially in the Southeast Asia region?

And a question number two:  Will the Air Force increase the frequency of bomber operations over the South China Sea?  Thank you so much.

General Wilsbach:  Thank you.  So yes, you might imagine that we move around our assets around the world frequently.  Everyone’s seen us do that.  And so we did move around some carriers recently, and when that happens, we always have an internal discussion between the services of what can we do to mitigate that, or do we even need to mitigate it is another part of that discussion.  So certainly, you know that we fly our aircraft, not only the bombers, but fighters, in the region.  And so we have the ability to move around, and we have moved around fighter and bomber aircraft to ensure that we have a presence here and that we continue, basically, a steady beat of operations.  Because one of the things that we want everybody to know is we want to be very strategically predictable, and because we’re really committed to a stable region, and we believe that – and I have heard from many of my counterparts in other countries that have expressed that: hey, we want to be your partner; we want to work with you; we want to be interoperable with you; you’re the partner of choice.  All of these things have been said to me as I go around the region.

And so, we know that our military operating in the region and training with our allies and partners is a stabilizing effect, and it is a comfort to those that look to the United States.  And it’s not just the United States.  It’s a comfort to the United States that other countries work with us too.  And so I know that it’s a feeling of mutual interest that the countries around the region work together as our forces are in the region, and so that would be my answer about that.

As far as will you see more bomber operations — I really don’t want to get too much into future operations and what you might see other than to say that you can expect that we’re going to be around.

Moderator:  Thank you.  We’re just going to try to get to a couple more here before we have to wrap up.  Next we have Dzirhan Mahadzir from USNI News in Malaysia.  Dzirhan, please go ahead.

Question:  Thank you, General.  Two quick questions.  Can you tell us a little bit about the upcoming exercise with the French in Hawaii?  I believe Admiral Rey, the commander of French forces in the Asia-Pacific, just visited you.

And secondly, you mentioned about – sorry, I’m just getting my thoughts together.  You mentioned about the Queen Elizabeth traveling to the region.  Is PACAF going to be conducting any activities with it?  And also on the E-7, you mentioned the need for it to replace the E-3.  Where’s the progress on that?  Thank you.

General Wilsbach:  Okay.  So yes, the French will be out in the region here in a few weeks, and we’ve been working with them for the last several months to orchestrate that exercise and activity, and we’re extremely excited about this.  And I mentioned it earlier in my remarks that it’s exciting to me to have our European allies, in this case, and partners, to be interested in the Indo-Pacific, and certainly France has territories in the South Pacific, and we’re excited that they’re coming out and that they’re showing interest.  And so they’re going to be out there and then they’re going to be in Hawaii for a short period of time, and we’re going to be doing some flights between their Rafales and our F-22s here in Hawaii before they go back to France.  So that’s going to be an excellent exercise, just a training opportunity for some fighter pilots to get together, but also the statement that it says about France in the Indo-Pacific region and their desire, just like ours, to have a free and open Indo-Pacific is really important.  And so yes, I did have a meeting with Admiral Rey and we had a great time as he visited Hawaii, and I’m excited.

We do have some plans to work with the Queen Elizabeth.  Again, I don’t want to get too much into the details of operational aspects, but I will tell you that we’re going to do some flying with them as they come out.  And it’s not just the PACAF doing the flying with them, but my joint counterparts in the Marines and the Navy and the Army will be doing some training activities with them as well.  And they all – the Queen Elizabeth will also be having a number of port calls and also training activities with regional partners and allies.  So it’s going to be a great opportunity for the UK, and you probably know that there is a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B squadron embarked on the squadron as well.  So that’s something that hasn’t been done in quite some time, and so that’s another very interesting aspect.

On the E-7, I would say you’ve heard me talk about desiring to have E-7 to replace the E-3.  That’s still my stand and what I’ve expressed up my chain of command.  Still nothing to report out other than we keep talking about it.  We were talking about it earlier today with Headquarters Air Force, and I think more to follow from Headquarters Air Force.  I’ve made my requirements known and we’re working out the details of what next for E-3 replacement.

Moderator:  Thank you very much.  Next we’ll go to Duy Linh Hang from Tuoi Tre in Vietnam.  Duy Linh, please go ahead.

Question:  Yes, thank you for spending time with us, General.  I have a very short question.  Can you give more information about cooperation between Vietnam and the U.S. Air Force in near future?  Thank you.

General Wilsbach:  Yes.  So probably the biggest thing is the T-6 aircraft, the trainer aircraft that Vietnam is buying, and the reason they’re buying that is because they want to improve their pilot training program.  And so that’s probably one of the most important and probably the most visible improvements that you will see, and we’re committed to helping that aircraft be delivered and then operationalizing it and improving the Vietnamese air force’s pilot training.  And so that’s probably the most visible thing that you’ll see.

But also, we find that we have a pretty good relationship via mostly Zoom and phone calls right now because of the pandemic, but later on in the summer I’m going to be hosting a conference called the Pacific Air Chiefs Conference where 22 nations are going to be sending their air chiefs to Hawaii to have talks for about a week with myself as well as the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Brown.  And Vietnam’s air chief is planning to attend, and so we’re excited that he’s coming for that and we’re looking forward to the discussion, which I believe will lead to a furthering of our relationship and give us other opportunities for engagement.  But that’s what I would say as we look to the near future.

Moderator:  Thank you.  We probably only have time for about one more.  We’ll go to Mike Yeo from Defense News in Melbourne, Australia.  Mike, if you’re there.

Question:  Thank you, General, for speaking with us.  My question is about the importance of tanker aircraft to support U.S. Air Force operations throughout the region due to the vast distances involved.  Now, there has been talk previously about the USAF looking at engaging privately operated tanker aircraft to support its operations.  Have you got any visibility on that program?

And also one more question.  There have been disputes about the number of aircraft, Chinese transport aircraft that flew near Malaysia’s coastline recently.  Malaysia says there had been 16 and some Chinese sources have said there had been two aircraft.  Can you provide any visibility on the numbers involved and what their flights were like?

General Wilsbach:  So for your first question, on the commercial tankers, we actually aren’t pursing that from a PACAF standpoint or, for that matter, even from the U.S. Air Force.  I know there’s other organizations that, in a small way, use some commercial tanker options, but we’re not, from the U.S. Air Force.  So we actually have the KC-135.  We have a few KC-10s.  And then of course I think you’re tracking that we have the KC-46 — that’s our brand-new tanker that we’re fielding at the moment.  And so with those, in addition we also have allies and partners that have tankers which we refuel from as well.  So we actually feel like we have sufficient airborne fuel with the indigenous capability that we have inside the U.S. Air Force as well as our allies and partners so that we probably don’t need to go down the route of contracted tankers.  So that’s what I would have to say about the tankers.

As far as the exact number of Chinese flights that incurred into the Malaysian airspace, I don’t actually have the exact number off the top of my head.  I can probably go back and check it.  But my gut would tell me it would be probably not as close to the Chinese number as what the Chinese said it was, but that would just be a guess and I would have to go back to our sources to get the exact number.

Moderator:  Thank you very much.  I’m afraid that’s all the time that we’re going to have.  Do you have any final comments for us, General?

General Wilsbach:  I do.  So, one, thank you so much for your time and I really appreciate the really insightful questions.  I really enjoyed having the time to chat with you, and sorry we didn’t get to everybody, I’m sure.  But if you do have some follow-up questions, please don’t hesitate to get with our staff and pose your question in writing or by email or text, and we’ll do everything we can to get back to you and to answer your questions.  And so we want to be as transparent as we can be.

The other thing is, hopefully you picked up on some of my key messages, which is: free and open Indo-Pacific; the value of the allies and partners and the collaboration that likeminded nations who value a rules-based order, how valuable that is to us and how important it is to cooperate.  And frankly, to counter the ideas and really some of the activities that nations who don’t value that and who are really just looking to retain power, and so hopefully you picked up on the value of allies and partners.

And with that, I’ll close and once again, just thank you so much for your questions and your time.  I wish each and every one of you a great morning, afternoon, and evening.  Thank you.

Moderator:  Thank you.  That concludes today’s call.  I want to thank U.S. Pacific Air Forces Commander General Ken Wilsbach.  I also would like to thank all of you for participating in this briefing, and I apologize as there were several of you who were on hold there for a long time that we weren’t able to get to.  I apologize for that.

Please stay on the line for information regarding access to an audio recording of the call.  Also, please be aware that a transcript of the call will be posted to our social media platforms and sent out to all of you within a day.  If you have any questions about today’s call, you may contact the Asia-Pacific Media Hub at [email protected]  Thank you very much.


Mission statement pacaf

PACAF’s “Vision” Thing

Pacific Air Forces has begun to forge a doctrine of AirSea Battle with the intent of deterring any Chinese, North Korean, or Russian military aggression in Asia and the Pacific. The doctrine is in its early stages of development, and initial findings are being drawn from a two-phase wargame called Pacific Vision, held in October.

Pacific Vision’s first phase looked out to 2016, and was centered on Air Force operations. This wargame focused on the weapons, bases, and combat forces that PACAF already had on hand.

A B-52 deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam.

(USAF photo by MSgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald)

The second phase looked out to 2028 and included naval aviators and submariners from the US Navy as well as a contingent from Australia’s armed forces. In this phase, officers taking part in the exercise brainstormed a series of alternate futures. Of particular interest was one scenario that the planners called “Dr. Strangelove’s World.”

Gen. Carrol H. Chandler, who commands PACAF from its headquarters at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, said, “Pacific Vision provided … a foundational assessment of where we are and what we need in the Pacific.”

Col. Martin Neubauer, the command’s director of intelligence, added, “The easiest way to guarantee an undesirable future is to refuse to think about it.” Neubauer ran the game.

In the first phase of the wargame in early October, the airmen concluded that US airpower would be sufficient to defeat a “near-peer competitor” in the Asia-Pacific region over the next seven years—provided the United States adopted a strategy of dispersal and made certain critical force investments.

For the “near-peer competitor” in Pacific Vision, read “China”—but Air Force officers cautioned that the main adversary in the Far East could be a resurgent Russia. In any case, the wargame was intended not only to test strategic plans but to help prevent any miscalculation of US power and intentions, a priority for American commanders in the region.

Chandler said in an interview that he asked his staff “to look at what we think we need to carry out our mission, particularly when we have finite resources.”

The Air Force’s internal results didn’t mesh with the media’s first take on this issue. In contrast to PACAF’s assessment that it could realistically expect to defeat a serious foe through 2016, a contemporaneous RAND study, widely cited in the press, claimed that US airpower in the Pacific would be inadequate to thwart a Chinese attack on Taiwan in 2020.

Virtually all analysts believe a battle over Taiwan, the island claimed by China but informally allied with the US, is the most likely cause of hostilities between the US and China. RAND analysts took part in the Pacific Vision wargame, but PACAF officers said that the wargame and the RAND study were actually not connected. RAND’s analysis also included future capabilities and a somewhat longer time horizon.

In Pacific Vision’s first phase, a Red Team played the near-peer competitor and was instructed to “play dirty.” This meant that these adversaries were to employ Chinese weapons, communications, and tactics to the fullest, with little consideration to training, maintenance capabilities, and political constraints.

Two Blue Teams, reflecting PACAF as it exists today and will be by 2016, were engaged. After two days, they were “reset” to run the game again with what they had learned. (In effect, that gave evaluators four sets of conclusions.)

PACAF’s officers immediately determined that Washington should disperse its fighter, bomber, and tanker forces well before the start of hostilities. These assets, they said, should be redeployed on an arc ranging from Alaska in the north to Australia in the south, with intermediate bases in Japan, South Korea, Guam, and Southeast Asia. This, they said, would complicate and frustrate any adversary’s targeting.

Above: (l-r): Gen. Carrol Chandler, PACAF commander, Gen. Arthur Lichte, AMC commander, and Gen. Bruce Carlson, then AFMC commander, review notes before a meeting.

(USAF photo by Ben Strasser)

Force Projection Needs

That, in turn, underscored the need for ready American access to bases for forward deployment, and for intensification of efforts to cultivate good political relationships with the nations along that arc.

Chandler said Pacific Vision “clearly drove home the importance of ensuring access to airfields around the Pacific Rim. You cannot ‘surge’ engagement, and we must ensure our ability to project airpower from forward bases in the region.”

That means, among other things, strengthening relations with treaty allies in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, and Australia—each of which could impose political constraints to curtail US freedom to operate.

The same would be true of friendly nations, such as Singapore, with which the US lacks a defense treaty. Still other nations, like India and Indonesia, are already being cultivated by the US but are not yet ready to “sign on” as friends or military partners.

Vietnam presents an intriguing case. The nation was, of course, engaged in military hostilities with the US, in one form or another, from 1954 through 1975. Still, it harbors long-standing animosities toward China.

Touchiest of all is the case of Taiwan, situated just 100 miles off the coast of China. It is already the target of more than 1,000 Chinese missiles and is vulnerable to bomber attack, so relying on Taiwan as a potential base of operations does not make much strategic sense.

The Navy’s aircraft carriers and submarines armed with cruise missiles would need to be dispersed like the land-based aircraft, but more needs to be done to integrate these vessels into war plans, said PACAF officers.

Pacific Vision emphasized the need to harden hangars, command posts, electrical plants, ammunition depots, and supply warehouses to withstand attack. This is particularly true on Guam, which is being built up as a critical forward base.

Moreover, said PACAF planners, crews equipped and trained to repair damaged bases should be positioned to move quickly to wherever they are needed. Runways, for instance, would need to be repaired within hours. Because of long distances in the Pacific, more tankers are required to support combat operations than were needed in Europe to deter the Soviet Union.

The wargame also validated the advantages of the stealth technology that permits B-2 bombers and F-22 fighters to evade radar detection. “We are sure that we can shoot them before they can see us,” said one officer.

Even so, the game also underscored the vulnerability of unprotected commercial communications channels on which the Air Force relies. China demonstrated its anti-satellite capability by knocking out an inactive satellite with a missile in 2007. Few expect China to hold back in the event of a shooting war.

The carrier USS Ronald Reagan and two ships of its battle group cruise on a mission in the South Pacific.(USN photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Spike Call)

Pacific Vision confirmed the need for greater numbers of Global Hawks, the large unmanned reconnaissance airplanes that can survey 40,000 square miles a day in all weather. The first of three Global Hawks to be based on Guam will arrive on the scene next year.

Officers also discovered that the US has lagged in cyber warfare, from jamming enemy radar to attacking computer networks, as well as protecting US radars and computers.

The 13th Air Force’s air operations center at Hickam, which would coordinate an air war in Asia, has been up and running for two years but needs to improve controls over PACAF’s dispersed forces.

In the second phase of Pacific Vision, the wargame’s organizers asked the players to imagine the role of the US in the world 20 years hence. Scenarios included everything from the existence of a “Pax Americana” in which the United States dominated the political scene, to a return to the isolation of the 19th century with no alliances.

The future that got the most attention—the so-called Dr. Strangelove’s World—was the least comfortable and perhaps most dangerous of the alternatives. It conjured up an America that was tired of war, having fought more or less continuously around the world since 1941 (World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Lebanon, Panama, Persian Gulf, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan). Its armed forces had long since been stretched to the breaking point, and the American people have been fatigued by repeated economic crises, political divisions, and the continuing War on Terror.

“That’s not where we want to be,” said Neubauer. He emphasized the need to have plans to cope with war fatigue. “It’s a bit like thinking about retirement,” he said. “All the surprises will be bad if you don’t have a plan.”

This second phase, in which about 80 people took part, included the participation of some 25 naval officers, a handful of marines, and a few special operations forces. Some Australians were assigned to a Green Team alongside the two Blue Teams. The Australians, who work hard to maintain their alliance with the US, “forced the Americans to articulate what most of us had taken for granted,” Neubauer said. Americans had assumed that open ocean surveillance by aircraft would be a naval mission. The Australians didn’t see that as obvioius, and pointed out that this is a Royal Australian Air Force mission for them.

That drove a discussion on “who does what and where” that forced everyone participating in the wargame to discuss the best ways to divide responsiblities in a joint operation.

An F-22 Raptor assigned to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, takes on fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the Alaskan Air National Guard’s 168th Air Refueling Wing. Alaska-based forces are crucial to US power in the Pacific.

(USAF photo by A1C Jonathan Steffen)

When it was over, the PACAF staff set about drawing up its conclusions and fashioning a framework for AirSea Battle. When the final findings from Pacific Vision have been sorted out, Chandler will take recommendations to Adm. Timothy J. Keating, who heads US Pacific Command at nearby Camp Smith in Honolulu.

If proposed force structure, basing, or policy changes pass muster there, they will go to the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, and the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, for approval before eventually being submitted to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Parallel to that, PACAF plans to submit its proposals to Andrew Marshall, the influential director of the Office of Net Assessment who advises the Defense Secretary directly. The ONA shop helped to finance Pacific Vision, and sent officers to Hawaii to take part.

“Maintaining security and stability in the Pacific requires constant preparation for potential threats and crises,” Chandler concluded. “That’s what Pacific Vision was about.”

Richard Halloran, formerly a New York Times foreign correspondent in Asia and military correspondent in Washington, D.C., is a freelance writer based in Honolulu. His most recent article for Air Force Magazine, “PACAF Between War and Peace,” appeared in the August 2008 issue.

Around the Air Force: Hurricane Recovery / PACAF Mission

Pacific Air Forces

Major command of the United States Air Force responsible for the Indo-Pacific region

"Pacific Air Command, United States Army" redirects here. For the Pacific Air Command of 1947-1949, see Seventh Air Force.

Pacific Air Forces
Pacific Air Forces.png

Shield of Pacific Air Forces

Active31 July 1944 - present
(77 years, 2 months)


  • 1 July 1957 – present (Pacific Air Forces)
    1 January 1947 - 1 July 1957 (as Far Eastern Air Forces)
    6 December 1945 - 1 January 1947 (as Pacific Air Command, United States Army)
    31 July 1944 - 6 December 1945 (as Far Eastern Air Forces)
Country United States of America
Branch United States Air Force
Seal of the United States Department of War.pngUnited States Army (US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svgArmy Air Forces; 31 July 1944- 26 September 1947)[1]
TypeMajor Command
Role"PACAF's primary mission is to deliver rapid and precise air, space and cyberspace capabilities to protect and defend the United States, its territories and our allies and partners."[2]
Size31,299 airmen
334 aircraft[3]
Part ofINDOPACOM Emblem 2018.pngUnited States Indo-Pacific Command
HeadquartersHickam Air Force Base, Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, Hawaii, U.S.
EngagementsStreamer APC.PNG
World War II - Asiatic-Pacific Theater
* New Guinea campaign
* Battle of Leyte
* Battle of Luzon
Korean Service Medal - Streamer.png
Korean War[4]
DecorationsAFOEA Streamer.jpg
Air Force Organization Excellence Award
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines) Streamer.png
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation[5]
CommanderGenKenneth S. Wilsbach[6]
Deputy CommanderLt GenJames A. Jacobson
Command ChiefCCMDavid R. Wolfe
FighterF-15C/D, F-16C/D, F-22A
Multirole helicopterHH-60G, UH-1N
TransportC-12J, C-17A, C-37A, C-40B, C-130H

Military unit

Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) is a Major Command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force and is also the air component command of the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM). PACAF is headquartered at Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam (former Hickam AFB), Hawaii, and is one of two USAF MAJCOMs assigned outside the Continental United States, the other being the United States Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa. Over the past sixty-five plus years, PACAF has been engaged in combat during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and Operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The mission of Pacific Air Forces is to provide ready air and space power to promote U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific region during peacetime, through crisis, and in war. PACAF organizes, trains, and equips the 45,000 Total Force personnel of the Regular Air Force, the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard with the tools necessary to support the Commander of United States Indo-Pacific Command. PACAF comprises three numbered Air Forces, nine main bases and nearly 375 aircraft.

The command's area of responsibility extends from the west coast of the United States to the east coast of Asia and from the Arctic to the Antarctic, more than 100,000,000 square miles (260,000,000 km2). The area is home to nearly two billion people who live in 44 countries.


Far East Air Forces[edit]

Not to be confused with Far East Air Force (United States), the military aviation organization of the United States Army in the Philippine Islands from 1941 to 1942.

The beginnings of PACAF can be traced back to June 1944, when Major GeneralSt. Clair Streett's Thirteenth Air Force was added to Allied Air Forces, South West Pacific Area. At approximately the same time, Lieutenant GeneralGeorge Kenney[7] created the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) from his Fifth Air Force headquarters, while the Advanced Echelon became the Fifth Air Force under Major GeneralEnnis Whitehead, Sr.

The RAAF also formed the Australian First Tactical Air Force under Air CommodoreHarry Cobby in October 1944, and when GeneralDouglas MacArthur became commander of all Army forces in the Pacific, the Seventh Air Force was added as well.

Far East Air Forces (FEAF) was activated on 3 August 1944, at Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.[11] FEAF (Provisional) had actually been created on 15 June 1944, and Fifth Air Force assigned to it. FEAF was subordinate to the U.S. Army Forces Far East and served as the headquarters of Allied Air Forces Southwest Pacific Area.[12]

The creation of FEAF consolidated the command and control authority over United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) units widely deployed throughout the southwest Pacific in World War II. On 15 June 1945, Fifth Air Force, Clark Field, Luzon, Philippines; Seventh Air Force, Hickam Field, Hawaii, USA; and Thirteenth Air Force, Clark Field, Luzon, Philippines were assigned to FEAF to support combat operations in the Pacific.

With the end of World War II in September 1945, the USAAF found its units deployed throughout the Pacific, from Hawaii to India, from Japan to Australia, and based on a hundred island airstrips, along with bases in China and Burma. A realignment of these forces was needed by the USAAF to better organize its forces in the Pacific for peacetime. On 6 December 1945, Far East Air Forces was redesignated Pacific Air Command, United States Army (PACUSA), and its Air Forces were redeployed as follows:

  • Fifth Air Force: Assigned to Tokyo, Japan
Primary mission performing allied occupational assistance on the Japanese Home Islands and the Korean peninsula.
Returning to its prewar mission for the defense of the Hawaiian Islands, including Midway Island; the Marshall Islands and other Central Pacific islands
Defense of the Ryukyu Islands, including Iwo Jima
  • Thirteenth Air Force: Assigned to Clark Field, Philippines
Defense of the Philippines, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
Reassigned to PACUSA 6 December 1945; provided a strategic deterrent for the entire Western Pacific region

With this realignment and reassignment of forces, PACUSA controlled and commanded all United States Army Air Forces in the Far East and Southwest Pacific, and all air forces were placed under one Air Force commander for the first time.[13][14][15]

In November 1945, the 509th Composite Group left North Field on the island of Tinian and was reassigned to Roswell Army Air Field, New Mexico, taking the atomic bomb delivery capability of PACUSA to the United States. Shortly afterwards, Eighth Air Force was reassigned to the newly established Strategic Air Command (SAC) on 7 June 1946 and its strategic units reassigned to the 1st Bombardment Division.

The major mission of PACUSA in the postwar years (1946–1950) was occupation duty in Japan and the demilitarization of the Japanese society in conjunction with the United States Army. In addition, PACUSA helped to support atomic bomb testing in the Pacific Proving Grounds beginning with the Operation Crossroads test on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in 1946.

With the impending establishment of the United States Air Force as an independent service later that year, PACUSA was redesignated Far East Air Forces (FEAF) on 1 January 1947. On that same date, Seventh Air Force in Hawaii was inactivated with its organization absorbed by HQ, FEAF.[16]

USAF established[edit]

Coinciding with the establishment of the United States Air Force (USAF) as an independent service in September 1947, PACUSA/FEAF deployments to Korea prior to the 1948 partition of the country helped in the establishment of the Republic of Korea (e.g., South Korea), along with the transfer of surplus military equipment and other aid to French Indochina as well as aid to the Nationalist Chinese during the Chinese Civil War which resumed after the end of World War II (1945–1949).

Korean War[edit]

Further information: USAF Units and Aircraft of the Korean War


On 25 June 1950, the armed forces of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (e.g., North Korea) invaded South Korea. On 27 June, the United NationsSecurity Council voted to assist the South Koreans in resisting the invasion. President Harry Truman authorized General of the ArmyDouglas MacArthur (commander of the US occupying forces in Japan) to commit units to the battle. MacArthur ordered General George E. Stratemeyer, CIC of FEAF, to attack attacking North Korean forces between the front lines and the 38th parallel.[17]

Order of Battle, June 1950[edit]

Despite the post-World War II demobilization of United States armed forces, the U.S. Air Force still had substantial forces in the Pacific to oppose the North Korean military. When the North Koreans crossed the 38th parallel on 25 June 1950, FEAF consisted of the following primary units*:[18][19][20]

Itazuke Air Base, Kyushu
8th Fighter-Bomber Wing/Group (F-80, F-82)
Johnson Air Base, Honshu
3d Bombardment Wing/Group (B-26)
Nagoya Air Base, Honshu
347th Fighter All Weather Wing/Group (inactivated 24 June 1950)
Tachikawa Air Base, Honshu
374th Troop Carrier Wing/Group (C-54)
Yokota Air Base, Honshu
35th Fighter-Interceptor Wing/Group (F-80, RF-80, F-82)
Misawa Air Base, Honshu
49th Fighter-Bomber Wing/Group (F-80)
  • Twentieth Air Force (Okinawa and the Marianas)
Naha Air Base, Okinawa
51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing/Group (F-80, F-82)
Kadena Air Base, Okinawa
31st Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, VLR** (RB-29)
Andersen Air Force Base, Guam
19th Bombardment Wing/Group (B-29)
  • Thirteenth Air Force (Philippines)
Clark Air Force Base, Luzon
18th Fighter-Bomber Wing/Group (F-80)
21st Troop Carrier Squadron (C-54)
6204th Photo Mapping Flight (RB-17)

At that time, the combat units of the FEAF were equipped with the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star jet fighter, the North American F-82 Twin Mustang all-weather escort fighter, the Douglas B-26 Invader light attack bomber, the Lockheed RF-80A Shooting Star tactical reconnaissance aircraft, and the Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber. Support units were equipped with the Douglas C-54 Skymaster cargo aircraft and the Boeing RB-17 Flying Fortress, a former heavy bomber converted to photo mapping duties. FEAF personnel also trained, supported and flew with the fledgling Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) under the Bout One Project, primarily operating excess World War II-vintage F-51D Mustang fighter aircraft transferred from USAF inventory, re-marked with ROKAF insignia, and operated in interdiction/ground attack and close air support roles.[21][22]

* Elements of the 2d and 3d Air Rescue squadrons, attached to FEAF by the Military Air Transport Service (MATS), were located at various bases where they could best perform emergency rescue services with their SB-17 Flying Fortresses. The 512th and 514th Weather Reconnaissance Squadrons of the 2143d Air Weather Wing were located at Yokota Air Base, Japan, and Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. All USAF units engaged in combat during the Korean War were under the overall command of Far East Air Forces.
** The 31st Photo Reconnaissance Squadron was a Strategic Air Command unit, attached to FEAF for operations. On 29 June 1950, the unit began flying combat missions over the Korean Peninsula in their RB-29 Superfortresses to provide FEAF Bomber Command with target and bomb-damage assessment photography.

In response to the threat posed by the introduction of Soviet-built (and often Soviet-manned) MiG-15 jet fighters into the Korean People's Air Force (KPAF), USAF F-80 and F-82 units were later re-equipped with the North American F-86 Sabre jet fighter between December 1951 and Spring 1953.[23] Eventually, these USAF F-86 units would establish a kill ratio of 10:1 versus their KPAF adversaries. During the Korean War (1950–1953), alongside the U.S. Navy and small allied contingents, FEAF's Fifth Air Force bore the brunt of the coalition air combat operations.

Cold War[edit]

With the 1953 Korean Armistice, the deployed SAC and TAC units to Japan and Korea were gradually withdrawn, and returned to the United States. Twentieth Air Force was inactivated on 1 March 1955, leaving FEAF with two Air Forces, the Fifth in Japan and the Thirteenth in the Philippines, although units were maintained on Guam and Okinawa.[18]

PACAF established[edit]

On 1 July 1954, Pacific Air Force was activated at Hickam Air Force Base, Territory of Hawaii, and assigned to Far East Air Forces (FEAF), which was headquartered in Japan. Pacific Air Force at Hickam functioned primarily as the Air Force staff component and planning element of U.S. Pacific Command. On 1 July 1956, Pacific Air Force was redesignated Pacific Air Force/FEAF (Rear). Headquarters FEAF began preparations to move from Japan to Hawaii. Smith assumed additional responsibilities as deputy commander, Far East Air Forces. This was followed on 1 July 1957 with United States Far East Air Forces being redesignated as Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) and transferring its headquarters to Hickam AFB, Territory of Hawaii.[18]

On 1 October 1955, the Far East Air Materiel Command was transferred from Far East Air Forces to Air Force Materiel Command.

Tensions between the Communist Chinese on the mainland and the Nationalist Chinese on Taiwan dominated FEAF and PACAF during the mid and late 1950s. The 1954 and 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis both threatened to break out into a war, and USAF F-104C fighter squadrons were deployed to Kung Kuan Air Base on Taiwan in 1958.[24] The question of "Matsu and Quemoy" became an issue in the 1960 American Presidential election when Richard Nixon accused John F. Kennedy of being unwilling to commit to using nuclear weapons if the People's Republic of China invaded the Nationalist outposts.[25]

By 1960, PACAF maintained a combat-ready deterrent force of some 35 squadrons, operating from 10 major bases in a half-dozen countries.[18]

Vietnam War[edit]

See also: United States Air Force In Thailand

F-4E of the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron, Da Nang Air Base
Republic F-105F/G-1-RE Thunderchief, AF Ser. No. 63-8319 of Det 1, 561st Tactical Fighter (Wild Weasel) Squadron, Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base
North American F-100F-20-NA Super Sabre, AF Ser. No. 58-1213 of the 352d Fighter Squadron at Phan Rang Air Base, South Vietnam, 1971

In the early 1960s, communist military strength and firepower in Vietnam increased. As a result, PACAF began a buildup in the area with the addition of troops and better arms and equipment.

In response to what has become known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, Tactical Air Command (TAC) pilots, navigators and support personnel found themselves deployed from the CONUS to PACAF bases such as Da Nang Air Base and Phan Rang AB in South Vietnam. Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base and Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand were also used by deployed TAC fighter squadrons.[26]

As the American effort in Southeast Asia increased, TAC permanently reassigned entire wings of aircraft from CONUS bases to PACAF and increased the number of rotated tactical fighter and reconnaissance squadrons on rotating Temporary Duty (TDY) commitments to PACAF bases in Vietnam and Thailand, along with units to South Korea, Japan and the Philippines. On a daily basis, flight crews would hurl themselves and their planes at targets across the area of operations over the skies of North and South Vietnam.[26]

At the height of the Vietnam War (1968), PACAF commanded forces at major air bases in the following countries:[27]

  • Japan (Fifth Air Force)
  • South Korea (Fifth Air Force)
  • Philippines (Thirteenth Air Force)
  • Taiwan (Thirteenth Air Force)
  • South Vietnam (Seventh Air Force)
  • Thailand (Seventh/Thirteenth Air Force)

In 1962, PACAF activated the 2d Air Division to be the main warfighting organization in South Vietnam. As the conflict escalated, Seventh Air Force was activated on 1 April 1966, replacing 2d Air Force. PACAF units in Thailand were under the command of Thirteenth Air Force beginning in 1964, then in 1973 a joint Seventh/Thirteenth Air Force headquarters was established in Bangkok to direct PACAF forces in Thailand operating in Indochina (until 15 August 1973), and Thailand until the final USAF withdrawal from Southeast Asia in the beginning of 1976.[27][28]

Further information: Seventh Air Force

for the PACAF order of battle in South Vietnam

Further information: Thirteenth Air Force

for the PACAF order of battle in Thailand

By 1970, direct PACAF involvement the war was winding down as the conflict was being increasingly turned over to the South Vietnamese under the process known as Vietnamization. Units from the Republic of Vietnam Air Force (VNAF) took on more and more combat to defend their nation while PACAF tactical air strength was being reduced as several air bases were turned over to the VNAF. Combat aircraft of PACAF flew their last strikes in Cambodia 15 August 1973, writing the final chapter to the long and costly history of active American participation in the Indochina War. The Paris Peace Accords of 1973 ended PACAF's use of South Vietnamese bases, and by 1976 bases in Thailand were turned over to the Thai government. In 1979, normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China also led to the withdrawal of PACAF personnel from Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, Republic of China (Taiwan).[27]

Post Cold War[edit]

South Korea based 51st Fighter Wing F-16Cs in flight.

The post-Vietnam era found the command focusing on improving its readiness and PACAF's organizational structure saw a marked period of rapid and extensive changes. Inactivated at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, Seventh Air Force was reactivated at Osan Air Base, South Korea in 1986 to take over Fifth Air Force activities in South Korea. Also in 1986, the Goldwater-Nichols Act reworked the overall command structure of the United States military. With the creation of Unified Combatant Commands (UCC) organized either on a geographical basis (known as "Area of Responsibility", AOR) or on a functional basis, Pacific Air Forces became a part of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM).

Andersen AFB in Guam was reassigned from Strategic Air Command (SAC) to PACAF in 1989, and Eleventh Air Force became a part of the command in late 1990. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, civil unrest in the Philippines and negotiations with the extant government of the Republic of the Philippines for the lease of Clark Air Base, along with other U.S. military installations in the Philippines, had reached an impasse. However, following the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo, the resultant damage to Clark AB, and with a post-Cold War desire by the U.S. Government to reduce defense spending, Clark AB was closed and Thirteenth Air Force relocated in 1991.[18]

In 1992, changes took place in force structure within PACAF as the command assumed control of theater-based tactical airlift wings, theater C-130 aircraft and crews, and associated theater C-130 support following the disestablishment of Military Airlift Command (MAC). PACAF also gained control of all operational support aircraft and all aeromedical airlift assets in the Pacific previously under the cognizance of MAC.[18] With the concurrent disestablishment of Strategic Air Command (SAC) and Tactical Air Command (TAC) the same year, PACAF also assumed responsibility for all active KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft based in Hawaii and Japan, "gaining command" responsibility for all Air National Guard KC-135 aircraft in Hawaii and Alaska, and all E-3 AWACS aircraft in Japan and Alaska.

Throughout its history PACAF has played a vital role in world events. In addition to its key combat role in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, PACAF units fought in Desert Storm in 1991 and continued to deploy to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Italy for peacekeeping operations such as Operation Southern Watch and Operation Northern Watch. PACAF provided its expertise, aircraft, personnel and equipment to facilitate the new Expeditionary Air Force, especially as it applied to successful airbridge operations spanning the vast Pacific Ocean. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, PACAF again demonstrated its intrepid spirit through its units deployed in support of Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom and, in 2003, Operation Iraqi Freedom.[18]

Since 1944, the command has also participated in more than 140 humanitarian operations within its area of responsibility and beyond. In these operations PACAF people quickly and efficiently airlifted food, medicine and other supplies to areas devastated by storms, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes and other natural disasters.[18]

As PACAF entered the second decade of the 21st century, expanding theater challenges and simultaneous resource constraints have forced continuing innovation and adjustments by PACAF in order to meet mission requirements. Previously assigned four numbered air forces, PACAF downscoped to three numbered air forces in September 2012, inactivating 13th Air Force and merging its functions into PACAF. Base consolidations and infrastructure limitations have also required the Air Force and PACAF to developed increased capability while striving to remain within budgetary resource constraints. One such example has been the evaluation of alternate runway(s)/divert field(s) in the Marianas since late 2011 as a backup to Andersen AFB on Guam, a process that remains on-going as of 2014.[29][30]


  • Established as Far East Air Forces (Provisional) on 31 July 1944
Reestablished: Far East Air Forces on 3 August 1944
Activated on 3 August 1944
Redesignated: Pacific Air Command, United States Army, on 6 December 1945
Redesignated: Far East Air Forces on 1 January 1947
Redesignated Pacific Air Forces on 1 July 1957


  • Southwest Pacific Area, 3 August 1944
  • US Army Forces, Pacific, 6 December 1945
  • United States Air Force, 26 September 1947 – Present

Historical Operational Components[edit]


  • Far East Air Forces Bomber Command, Provisional: 8 July 1950 – 18 June 1954
  • Far East Air Forces Combat Cargo Command, Provisional: 20 August 1950 – 25 January 1951
  • Far East (later, Pacific) Air Service Command, later Far East Air Materiel Command (from 1 January 1947) later, Far East Air Logistics Force): 18 August 1944 – 1 October 1955.[31]


  • Japan Air Defense: 1 March 1952 – 1 September 1954

Air Forces

3 August 1944 – Present
14 July 1945 – 1 January 1947; 5 January 1955 – 1 July 1957; 1 April 1966 – 30 June 1975; 8 September 1986 – Present

Air Divisions



  • Brisbane, Australia, 3 August 1944
  • Hollandia, New Guinea, 16 September 1944
  • Leyte, Philippines, 7 February 1945
  • Tolosa, Leyte, Philippines, 17 February 1945
  • Fort William McKinley, Leyte, Philippines, 20 March 1945
  • Tokyo, Japan, 17 May 1946
  • Fuchu AS, Japan, 13 May 1956
  • Hickam AFB, Hawaii, 30 June 1957 – Present
  • Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, Taiwan, 8 January 1954 – April 1979

Commanders, Pacific Air Forces[edit]

No.Commander Term
Portrait Name Took office Left office Term length
Laurence S. Kuter
Kuter, Laurence S.General
Laurence S. Kuter
1 July 19571 August 19592 years, 31 days
Emmett O'Donnell Jr.
O'Donnell, Emmett Jr.General
Emmett O'Donnell Jr.
1 August 19591 August 19634 years
Jacob E. Smart
Smart, Jacob E.General
Jacob E. Smart
1 August 19631 August 19641 years
Hunter Harris Jr.
Harris, Hunter Jr.General
Hunter Harris Jr.
1 August 19641 February 19672 years, 184 days
John D. Ryan
Ryan, John D.General
John D. Ryan
1 February 19671 August 19681 year, 182 days
Joseph J. Nazzaro
Nazzaro, Joseph J.General
Joseph J. Nazzaro
1 August 19681 August 19713 years
Lucius D. Clay Jr.
Clay, Lucius D. Jr.General
Lucius D. Clay Jr.
1 August 19711 October 19732 years, 61 days
John W. Vogt Jr.
Vogt, John W. Jr.General
John W. Vogt Jr.
1 October 19731 July 1974273 days
Louis L. Wilson Jr.
Wilson, Louis L. Jr.General
Louis L. Wilson Jr.
1 July 19743 June 19773 years, 2 days
James A. Hill
Hill, James A.Lieutenant General
James A. Hill
3 June 197715 June 1978347 days
James D. Hughes
Hughes, James D.Lieutenant General
James D. Hughes
15 June 19788 June 19812 years, 358 days
Arnold W. Braswell
Braswell, Arnold W.Lieutenant General
Arnold W. Braswell
8 June 19818 October 19832 years, 122 days
Jerome F. O'Malley
O'Malley, Jerome F.General
Jerome F. O'Malley
8 October 198325 September 1984353 days
Robert W. Bazley
Bazley, Robert W.General
Robert W. Bazley
25 September 198416 December 19862 years, 82 days
Jack I. Gregory
Gregory, Jack I.General
Jack I. Gregory
16 December 198622 July 19881 year, 219 days
Merrill McPeak
McPeak, MerillGeneral
Merrill McPeak
22 July 19885 November 19902 years, 106 days
Jimmie V. Adams
Adams, Jimmie V.General
Jimmie V. Adams
19 February 199122 January 19931 year, 338 days
Robert L. Rutherford
Rutherford, Robert L.General
Robert L. Rutherford
22 January 199312 October 19941 year, 263 days
John G. Lorber
Lorber, John G.General
John G. Lorber
12 October 19947 July 19972 years, 268 days
Richard B. Myers
Myers, Richard B.General
Richard B. Myers
7 July 199723 July 19981 year, 16 days
Patrick K. Gamble
Gamble, Patrick K.General
Patrick K. Gamble
23 July 19989 April 20012 years, 260 days
Lansford E. Trapp
Trapp, Lansford E.Lieutenant General
Lansford E. Trapp
9 April 20014 May 200125 days
William J. Begert
Begert, William J.General
William J. Begert
4 May 20012 July 20043 years, 59 days
Paul V. Hester
Hester, Paul V.General
Paul V. Hester
2 July 200430 November 20073 years, 151 days
Carrol Chandler
Chandler, CarrolGeneral
Carrol Chandler
30 November 200719 August 20091 year, 262 days
Gary L. North
North, Gary L.General
Gary L. North
19 August 20093 August 20122 years, 350 days
Herbert J. Carlisle
Carlisle, Herbert J.General
Herbert J. Carlisle
3 August 201216 October 20142 years, 74 days
Lori Robinson
Robinson, Lori J.General
Lori Robinson
16 October 201411 May 20161 year, 270 days
Russell J. Handy[32]
Martinez, Jerry. P.Lieutenant General
Russell J. Handy[32]
11 May 201612 July 201662 days
Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy
O'Shaughnessy, Terrence J.General
Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy
12 July 201624 May 20182 years, 14 days
Jerry P. Martinez
Martinez, Jerry. P.Lieutenant General
Jerry P. Martinez
24 May 201826 July 201863 days
Charles Q. Brown Jr.
Brown, Charles Q. Jr.General
Charles Q. Brown Jr.
26 July 20188 July 20201 year, 348 days
Kenneth S. Wilsbach
Wilsbach, Kenneth S.General
Kenneth S. Wilsbach
8 July 2020Incumbent1 year, 100 days

Component units[edit]

Pacific Air Forces comprises the following wings and major units.[33][34]

Fifth Air Force[edit]

The Fifth Air Force is responsible for USAF operations in Japan. Its role is to defend Japan, respond to regional events, and enhance the alliance between the US and Japan.[35]

Permanent units

Expeditionary units

  • 18th Expeditionary Air Wing (Kadena Air Base, Japan) – E-8C J-STARS

Seventh Air Force (Air Forces Korea)[edit]

The Seventh Air Force contributes to maintaining the armistice between South Korea and North Korea.[36]

Permanent units

Eleventh Air Force[edit]

The Eleventh Air Force is responsible for USAF operations across the Pacific, including the states of Alaska and Hawaii and the US territory of Guam.[37]

Permanent units

  • Headquarters 11th Air Force (Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska)
  • 3rd Wing (Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson) – C-130H Hercules, C-17A Globemaster III, F-22A Raptor and E-3B Sentry
  • 15th Wing (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii) – C-17A Globemaster III, C-37B, C-40A, F-22A Raptor
  • 36th Wing (Anderson AFB, Guam)
  • 354th Fighter Wing (Eielson AFB, Alaska) – F-16C/D Fighting Falcon and F-35A Lightning II
  • 611th Air and Space Operations Center (Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson)
  • 611th Air Support Group (Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson)
  • 613th Air and Space Operations Center (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam)
  • 613th Support Group (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam)
  • 673rd Air Base Wing (Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson)
  • Pacific Air Forces Regional Support Center (Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson)

Expeditionary units

Air Force Reserve[edit]

Pacific Air Forces has operational "gaining command" responsibility for several Air Reserve Component (ARC) units, comprising personnel and aircraft from Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) and the Air National Guard (ANG).

Air Force Reserve Command

Alaska Air National Guard

Guam Air National Guard

  • 254th Air Base Group (Andersen AFB)

Hawaii Air National Guard

  • 109th Air Operations Group (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam)
  • 154th Wing (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam) – C-17A Globemaster III, F-22A Raptor and KC-135R Stratotanker
  • 201st Air Operations Group (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam)
  • 298th Air Defense Group (Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii)

Missouri Air National Guard

Other units[edit]

  • USAF Band of the Pacific - Asia (Yokota Air Base)
  • USAF Band of the Pacific - Hawaii (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam)

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^"Archived copy"(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on 26 April 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^The United States Far East Air Forces was a separate command from the World War II Far East Air Force (United States) (28 October 1941 – 5 February 1942) which fought in the Philippine and Dutch East India campaigns. Initially it was composed mostly of aircraft and personnel from the Philippine Army Air Corps. It was largely destroyed during the Battle of the Philippines (1941–42) and the surviving personnel and aircraft were later reorganized in Australia as the U.S. Fifth Air Force.
  9. ^, PACAF History Fact Sheet
  10. ^Chronology of the Occupation
  11. ^Army Air Forces in World War II Vol. VII: Services Around the World CHAPTER 17 REDEPLOYMENT AND DEMOBILIZATION
  12. ^USAF Historical Research AgencyArchived 24 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^PACAF page, AFHRAArchived 24 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^American Caesar, Douglas MacArthur 1880–1964, William Manchester, Little, Brown, 1978.
  15. ^ abcdefghAir Force Historical Research Agency PACAF History FactsheetArchived 24 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^Final Cut: The Postwar B-17 Flying Fortress: The Survivors, Scott A. Thompson, Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1993.
  17. ^Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9
  18. ^Dean Hess
  19. ^Bout One
  20. ^
  21. ^Second Taiwan Strait Crisis Quemoy and Matsu Islands
  22. ^1960 Presidential Debates @ CNN.comArchived 13 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ abFutrell, Robert F. with the assistance of Blumenson, Martin (1991) The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia: The Advisory Years to 1965, Office Of Air Force History, United States Air Forceriority in Korea. Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2005. ISBN 1-59114-933-9.
  24. ^ abcSchlight, John (1996) A War Too Long: The History of the USAF in Southeast Asia, 1961–1975, Office Of Air Force History, United States Air Force
  25. ^Glasser, Jeffrey D. (1998). The Secret Vietnam War: The United States Air Force in Thailand, 1961–1975. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-0084-6.
  26. ^Kelman, Brett. "AF seeks backup runway in western Pacific."Pacific Daily News, 11 October 2011.
  27. ^
  28. ^See lineage and honors at,%20PACIFIC%20AREA.pdf.
  29. ^
  30. ^"PACAF Units". Pacific Air Forces. US Air Force. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  31. ^Kaminski, Tom (2020). "Air Power Review". United States Air Force – Air Power Yearbook 2020. Key Publishing. pp. 78, 79, 83, 86, 88–91, 92.
  32. ^"About Us". Fifth Air Force. US Air Force. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  33. ^"Units". Seventh Air Force. US Air Force. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  34. ^"Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson > Units > Air Force". Retrieved 25 April 2020.


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  • This article includes content from Pacific Air Forces website, which as a work of the U.S. Government is presumed to be a public domain resource. That information was supplemented by:
  • Endicott, Judy G. (1999) Active Air Force wings as of 1 October 1995; USAF active flying, space, and missile squadrons as of 1 October 1995. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. CD-ROM
  • Fletcher, Harry R. (1989) Air Force Bases Volume II, Active Air Force Bases outside the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
  • USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers—1908 to present

External links[edit]


You will also be interested:


1825 1826 1827 1828 1829