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PACAF celebrates 59 years


Release Date: 7/31/2003

By Gen. Bill Begert Pacific Air Forces Commander

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii - On Aug 3, Pacific Air Forces will celebrate 59 years of continued service as America's provider of air and space power in the Pacific theater.

The challenges in PACAF are formidable. Our area of responsibility covers 105 million square miles and is home to 60 percent of the world's population with 1,000 languages and dialects spoken in 73 countries and territories. An area rich in resources, more than 30 percent of U.S. trade is conducted with Asian-Pacific markets. Political, military and economic tensions in this immense expanse are frequent and capture the world's spotlight on a recurring basis.

Yet our contributions are apparent every day in the theater and around the world as we collectively execute the Global War on Terrorism. From Baghdad to Bagram, from the Philippines to India, and from the four corners of the Pacific Ocean, PACAF airmen are serving our great nation. Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom plus a host of vital global cooperation exercises could not have succeeded without the combatant and expeditionary combat support forces PACAF provides.

The road ahead looks bright for our command, promising new airlift and reconnaissance aircraft such as the C-17 and Global Hawk to complement the full-service PACAF reputation; changes in the civilian personnel system promise to increase recruiting, retention, and rewards for the people in PACAF for mission accomplishment; base restructuring will ensure the necessary infrastructure matches our mission and troop strength.

As we move toward our sixth decade in service, I am proud to command such a talented and dedicated force. Together we can overcome the threats and challenges of a new century. Happy Birthday PACAF! (Courtesy of Pacific Air Forces News Service)

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