An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | June 9, 2023

AFJROTC Cadets Experience 176th Wing Mission during JBER Visit

By Airman 1st Class J. Michael Peña JBER Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- As part of a week-long camp, Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets from three local high schools toured multiple aircraft and Alaska Air National Guard facilities, and flew in an HC-130J Combat King II assigned to the 176th Wing and 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, June 6, 2023.

Nearly a hundred cadets from South Anchorage, West Anchorage, and Eagle River High Schools came to JBER for their Cadet Leadership Course, a program that aims to prepare cadets for leadership roles in their units, schools, and local communities. Thanks to the 176th Wing, the cadets were given hands-on experience with some of the tools, land vehicles, and aircraft used during the wing’s missions.

“This camp is an opportunity to take high school students and introduce them to an entirely unique lifestyle that is the military,” said Keith Coulter, a retired Air Force master sergeant and the JROTC instructor for South Anchorage High School. “It’s a great opportunity for them to test their leadership skills and help them become better citizens.”

The cadets were split into three groups; each taking turns visiting the static displays of an HC-130J Combat King II, a C-17 Globemaster III, and an HH-60H Pave Hawk. They learned key details about the aircraft and the types of jobs centered around them from some of the loadmasters, crew chiefs, and aviators of the Alaska Air National Guard and 3rd Wing.

Parker Johnston, a JROTC cadet from South Anchorage High School, had the opportunity to see the flight decks of all three aircraft.

“If I’m going big planes, C-17s all day,” said Johnson when asked about his favorite aircraft. “I love how big it is. It fits an entire tank inside. It can do so many things you can’t even imagine.”

After a lunch break and a quick safety brief, the cadets made their way back to the flight line. They donned hearing protection and boarded an HC-130J Combat King II for a familiarization flight through the skies of Alaska, an opportunity most Airmen don’t get to experience their entire career. After take-off, cadets peered from the large windows towards the rear of the jet and took turns moving up to the flight deck to see the pilots in action.

“Usually, I don’t like turbulence on airplanes, but it was fun,” said Hally Milette, a first-year cadet from South Anchorage High School. “They took the Denali route and flew over the glaciers. The views were beautiful.”

Following their return from the flight, the cadets were reorganized and led to the 176th Wing headquarters for the last portion of their visit. On arrival, they were separated again for a tour around the facility led by pararescuemen from the 212th Rescue Squadron. From smoke canisters and all-terrain vehicles to parachutes and night-vision equipment, cadets could see first-hand the tools the 212th and its sister squadrons use to save hundreds of lives in and around Alaska every year.

Cadets attending the camp not only got the opportunity to experience the mission of the 176th Wing, but got to make new friendships along the way. Aryanna Sparks, a JROTC cadet from West Anchorage High School, was appointed to the element leader position, putting her in charge of a small number of cadets within her group. Sparks thanked the camp for giving her invaluable leadership experience, helping her overcome her shyness, and encouraging her to make new friends, such as Cadet Johnston, one of the individuals in her element.

“I feel like I’m out of my shell when I’m in ROTC compared to any other environment,” said Sparks. “I’m pretty quiet at school and in my sports, but with ROTC, it feels like I can be loud and no one really judges because you're accepted and in the group. If you’re struggling with anything, you can talk to anyone here and they’ll support you and understand you.”

After bidding the 176th Wing goodbye, the cadets were bused back to their campsite on base, sleeping in tents at night for the duration of the leadership course. They will continue to practice drills and conduct physical training throughout the week, even facing off against each other in paintball towards the end of camp.

There are thousands of JROTC programs across the United States, teaching young men and women the skills they need to navigate the challenges of adulthood successfully. Not only do they host camps like this one, they also provide opportunities for community service, participation in nationwide competitions, and even a path to higher education through scholarships to nearly 260 different colleges. For more information about the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, visit



U.S. 7th Fleet, Blue Ridge Team Conduct Maneuvering Exercise with French Navy
PHILIPPINE SEA (June 14, 2024) - U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), left, conducts a maneuvering exercise with the French Navy Aquitaine-class frigate FS Bretagne (D 655) in the Philippine Sea during Valiant Shield 2024, June 14, 2024. Exercises such as Valiant Shield allow the Indo-Pacific Command Joint Forces the opportunity to integrate forces from all branches of services and with our allies to conduct precise, overwhelming multi-axis, multi-domain effects that demonstrate the strength and versatility of the Joint Force and our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan M. Breeden)
June 17, 2024 - Sailors assigned to both U.S. 7th Fleet and the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) conducted a maneuvering exercise with the French Navy Aquitaine-class frigate FS Bretagne (D 655), during Valiant Shield 2024, June...

Hawaii Air National Guard Hosts Sentry Aloha Joint Exercise
An A-10 Warthog and F-16 Fighting Falcon from the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Test Center, an F-16 from the 177th Fighter Wing, an F-35A Lighting II from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, and an F-22 Raptor, operated by the 199th and 19th Fighter Squadrons, assemble during exercise Sentry Aloha 24-2 June 6, 2024, above the island of Hawaii. This iteration of the exercise involved approximately 1,060 participants and more than 40 aircraft from nine states,  operating out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and Onizuka Kona International Airport, Keāhole.
June 17, 2024 - The Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing concluded the latest iteration of its ongoing fighter exercise, Sentry Aloha 24-2, June 12 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam...

Strengthening Military-Civilian Relations and Partnerships on Global Health Security
Australian Rear Adm. Sonya Bennett, Australian Defence Force surgeon general, gives opening remarks to the Military Civilian Health Security Summit co-hosted by the Australian Defence Force, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in Sydney, June 16, 2024. Established in 2018, the MCHSS symbolizes a unified commitment to address global health security challenges and provides an opportunity for participants to share valuable insights and enhance regional readiness by improving coordination and collaboration between military and civilian entities. USINDOPACOM is committed to enhancing stability in the Indo-Pacific region by promoting security cooperation, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies and deterring aggression. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Austin Riel)
June 17, 2024 - SYDNEY — The Australian Defence Force and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command co-hosted the Military Civilian Health Security Summit in Sydney, June 16-17, bringing together 23 Indo-Pacific partner nations, international organizations,...

U.S.-Philippine littoral live-fire training success
U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 214, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, assemble a GBU-32 joint direct attack munition onto a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II with VMFA-214, MAG 13, 3rd MAW, before a littoral live-fire exercise off the coast of Ilocos Norte and Zambales during Marine Aviation Support Activity 24 on Clark Air Base, Philippines, June 15, 2024. The LLFX showcased the integrated command and control capabilities of the U.S. and Philippine Armed Forces in a territorial defense scenario featuring a coordinated bilateral and maritime strike. MASA is an annual Philippine-U.S. military exercise focused on mutual defense, strengthening relationships, and rehearsing emerging aviation concepts. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Shaina Jupiter)
June 17, 2024 - On June 15, 2024, elements of the Philippine and U.S. armed forces conducted a live-fire event for Marine Aviation Support Activity (MASA) 24. MASA is an annual Philippine-U.S. military exercise taking place in the...

U.S. Coast Guard hosts cadets from Japanese Coast Guard Training Ship Kojima
U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia Sector Guam and Maritime Safety and Security Team Honolulu personnel stand for a photo with over 40 cadets from the Japanese Coast Guard training ship Kojima during their visit to Guam on June 12, 2024. The event marked a significant moment of international cooperation and camaraderie between the two maritime services. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Josiah Moss)
June 17, 2024 - The U.S. Coast Guard hosted Capt. Kazushi Sakae and over 40 cadets from the Japanese Coast Guard training ship, Kojima, during their visit to Guam on June 12, 2024...