Klamath Falls, Ore. – Congressman Greg Walden met with officials at Kingsley Field Saturday morning, in a visit that could help to lay the foundation for the next mission at the base.
The F-15 fighter jets tend to make a big impression wherever they fly.
“This is really an important mission for the country.” Notes Congressman Greg Walden. “It’s extraordinarily important for the basin. This is where we train our F-15 pilots for America, and we want to make sure that the aircraft is up to snuff.”
The training facilities at Kingsley Field are state of the art.
But, Walden points out the F-15 is an aging fleet. “There are obviously some maintenance issues with the airframe. It’s very old, and we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got the funding coming.”
173rd Fighter Wing Commander Colonel Jeff Smith believes the base is ready for the next generation of fighter jet.
“Number one on my wish list would be an F-35.” Says Col. Smith. “Make no mistake, that would secure this base and our training mission for several decades to come. And again, with the airspace and infrastructure we have, we’re ready to make that leap.”
Congressman Walden told NBC5 that he’s invited U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson to visit Kingsley Field for a first-hand look at the training mission.