JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The Pacific Air Forces’ F-16 Demonstration Team worked hand-in-hand with Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, to save 20,000 to 30,000 pounds of fuel and thousands of taxpayer dollars in support of Arctic Thunder 2018 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, June 30 to July 1.
“We used the 18th Fighter Squadron aggressor F-16 Fighting Falcon model, based at Eielson AFB, for the first time ever,” said Capt. Jake Impellizzeri, the PACAF F-16 Demonstration Team pilot. “I was ecstatic to show off an 18th FS jet to our audience, especially with its unique Arctic camo paint scheme. It was an incredible treat for me to fly this particular F-16 model because it offers different analog flight controls, making aero-maneuverability effortless.”
Arctic Thunder 2018, also known as the Arctic Thunder Open House, is a biennial event, which provides an opportunity to share aspects of military life and operations with Anchorage and the greater Alaskan community, who support the base’s ability to protect the U.S. and engage overseas.
Not only did Eielson AFB provide an F-16 to the PACAF Demo Team; they provided the maintenance for the jet as well, enabling the demo team to focus more on building better bonds with local community members.
“With Eielson AFB handling the maintenance, we focused more on community interaction,” said Master Sgt. Jeff Parker, the PACAF F-16 Demonstration Team superintendent. “Having an aircraft on site made it immensely easier to come out here and perform. We didn’t have to coordinate jet movement or arrange tanker support to get across the Pacific.”
From explosions to aerial recovery demonstrations, Arctic Thunder 2018 hosted more than 40 static displays, showcasing six military, joint forces and eight civilian and warbird demonstrations to more than 320,000 attendees, providing an in-depth look on the operations performed to keep the United States and its allies safe.
“It’s incredible how pilots can maneuver the jet like they do,” said Kamille Hines, an Arctic Thunder 2018 air show attendee. “My family goes to an air show every year, and we thought the PACAF Demo Team performance was amazing.”