JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON –
The 477th Fighter Group continues to pave the way for military progress in Alaska. The Air Force reserve, 477th Fighter Group has a special relationship with the active-duty members of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER).
"The 477th Fighter Group is integrated with our 3rd Wing active-duty partners," said Col. Brian Budde, 477th Fighter Group commander. "The 3rd Wing and the 477th Fighter Group chains of command coordinate to deliver total force combat airpower, surge capacity, and strategic depth."
The Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC) is the largest training range in the Department of Defense. Working closely with members of the US Indo-Pacific Command and the Pacific Air Forces, 477th Fighter Group members Lt. Col. Ryan Enlow and Maj. Christopher Boyer, 302nd Fighter Squadron pilots, acquired $700 million to update the JPARC with state-of-the-art radars and architecture. This funding was secured in large part to the support of Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan.
“The Air Force Reserve and 477th Fighter Group are critical components in the Department of Defense and the state of Alaska. As the United States Air Force’s most experienced and only Reserve unit in Alaska, I look forward to supporting future projects directly aiding current and future combat air power,” said Senator Murkowski. “I’m proud to work with them to ensure Alaska—America’s first line of defense—is strong and secure.”
“Upgrades to the JPARC guarantee that members from all over the DoD will continue to travel to Alaska to train on the world’s greatest range,” said Enlow. “Most notably during RED FLAG ALASKA and NORTHERN EDGE exercises.”
Due to the efforts of Maj Boyer, a new $250 million-dollar simulator facility is coming to JBER in 2027. This facility will create over 100 new jobs in the Anchorage area and will serve as the premier location in the Pacific theatre for DoD test and training. The 477th Fighter Group single handedly secured the funding for the facility in addition to another $440 million from the office of the Secretary of Defense to modernize military simulator training to meet the growing threat.
“What started as an idea that Lt Col Enlow and I pitched to Gen Wilsbach, PACAF Commander, in 2020, eventually turned into reality, thanks to the partnership and relentless effort put forth by both the 477th Fighter Group and the 3rd Wing” stated Boyer.
Since that time, Maj Boyer transitioned from the active duty to a full-time reserve position. Boyer said he enjoys raising his family in Anchorage while instructing in the F-22 Raptor alongside his active-duty counterparts.
Members of the 477th Fighter Group have a profound impact in the local community. Beyond enjoying the outdoors with the rest of Anchorage, members of the unit can be found coaching youth sport teams or volunteering at local church events.
Peter Tymitz, F-22 reservist acting as the active duty 90th Fighter Squadron Director of Operations, and his wife work for a non-profit called High School to Flight School.
“It's a scholarship that puts kids through pilot training to get their private pilot’s license. We try to get one to two a year depending on funding,” said Tymitz. “I act as the mentor for the kids and work with them as they go through the program.”
Lt. Col. Enlow says he enjoys the solid relationship the 477th Fighter Group has with their active-duty counterparts. “The reserve gave me the opportunity to remain a tactical expert in the fighter community while also assisting the staff in modernizing this great airspace.”
The 477th Fighter Group is excited to continue providing F-22 Raptor air dominance and looks forward to stepping into new combat roles in the future.