EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Eielson hosted senior leaders from Air Combat Command and Pacific Air Forces during a symposium to discuss the future of the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC), Feb. 12 - 13, 2019.
The JPARC is a range with approximately 65,000 square miles of airspace, 2,490 square miles of land and 42,000 square nautical miles of sea and airspace in the Gulf of Alaska. The range provides a realistic training environment and allows units to train for full spectrum engagements, ranging from individual skills to complex large-scale joint engagement.
Throughout the symposium, experts convened to discuss requirements, techniques, and possible investments to improve the infrastructure of the range in order to make it more suited toward modern air combat capabilities and to fine-tune the implementation of improvements in a timely manner.
“The JPARC has much more airspace than many other ranges, which makes it conducive to training for fifth-generation aircraft. Additionally, the range has plenty more capacity for increasing training,” said Lt. Col. Russel Reese, 353rd Combat Training Squadron range director. “The symposium is being held to get stakeholders together to discuss the JPARC 2025 plan and also to refine the plan to better suit training objectives.”
JPARC 2025 is a plan to modernize the JPARC and its equipment to better integrate fifth-generation aircraft training operations. Eielson Air Force Base is preparing to receive its first F-35 Lightning II aircraft in April 2020, which will kick-start the formation of two fighter squadrons at the 354th Fighter Wing.
“The JPARC will have more fifth-generation fighter squadrons stationed locally than any other range,” said Lt. Col. John Anderson, 353rd Combat Training Squadron commander. “If we’re going to have an opportunity like that, we need to capitalize on it and prepare the training venue for those fifth-generation squadrons. Not just for the local squadrons, but also for temporarily-deployed units from sister services and international partners as well.”
Modernizing the JPARC requires the combined efforts of subject matter experts bringing valuable expertise in their respective fields to assist. Their efforts will increase the range’s capabilities allowing for more engaging training for joint and partner nation forces while also increasing the readiness of fifth-generation aircraft.
“Very shortly, we will have more fifth-generation capability here in Alaska than any other place in the Air Force,” said Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander. “It is important that we get ourselves set up for the future, not only for the bed down of the F-35, but also as we look at the JPARC.”