U.S. Air Force Secretary visits Kingsley Field

Klamath Falls, Ore. – The Secretary of the U.S. Air Force has wrapped up an historic trip to Kingsley Field.

U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson got a flight in an F-15 Sunday morning.

The flight was the highlight of a visit that included a visit with local officials at the Running ‘Y’ on Saturday – the focus of that meeting was on housing, health care, and education.

“I was very pleased to see the community leaders addressing some of the issues that have been identified by the active duty airmen, and by the head of the Guard.”  Noted Secretary Wilson.  “And then of course I had a great day with the airmen out on the flight line.”

It’s no secret that Kingsley Field would like to train pilots for a fifth-generation aircraft such as the F-35 as a future mission.

Congressman Greg Walden says Klamath Falls can help to lay the foundation for that future.  “First of all, making sure that we take care of the housing issue, and the health care access issue – those are the two things that are kind of out there as we grow the base, and have more active duty military.”

Wilson started off her day Sunday with a breakfast with local veterans, before heading out for a ride in a fighter jet with the Commander of the 173rd, Colonel Jeff Smith.

The flight lasted about an hour, and Secretary Wilson says she enjoyed the ride.

“It was a great day.”  Beamed Wilson.  “It was a really good day.”

Colonel Smith says the visit from Secretary Wilson has left him optimistic.  “They’re happy with what we’re doing, they’re proud of what we’re doing, that we’re critical to the future of the Air Force.  And so as we move forward, I think the future remains bright – they’re not just ready to tell us what that bright spot will look like.”


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