F-15s and airmen of the 19th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, on March 29 returned home from temporary duty assignments in Hawaii and Thailand to participate in the Cope Thaw and Cope Tiger exercises, respectively. These were the last deployments for the unit, which is slated for decommissioning later this year as part of the Air Force’s drawdown of more than 250 legacy fighters. The first of the squadron’s F-15 will depart Elmendorf for good in April and the final ones should leave by September. (Elmendorf photo caption by A1C Christopher Gross)
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.