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Seymour Johnson AFB - Breaking News

USAF Thunderbirds select Captain Lauren Schlichting of Seymour Johnson AFB to join flight team
Captain Lauren Schlichting, 333rd Fighter Squadron, SJAFB – Courtesy of Senior Airman Kimberly Barrera
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AFB, GOLDSBORO, NC – The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, selected Capt. Lauren Schlichting, 333rd Fighter Squadron evaluating pilot and executive officer at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, to join their team. Schlichting is set to fly Thunderbird 3, becoming the team’s right-wing pilot.

From a young age, Schlichting knew she wanted to become a fighter pilot

“Some astronauts came to my school in second grade,” said Schlichting. “The astronaut piece didn’t really resonate with me but them being fighter pilots did. Minnesota has little military presence and I am not from a military family. When I came home, at eight years old, and told my mom I was going to join the Air Force and become a fighter pilot, it was shocking for her. It just kind of stuck.”

Schlichting followed her lifelong dream. She went through the Reserve Officer Training Corps where she earned a pilot slot. She was then assigned to fly the F-15E Strike Eagle.

Schlichting says her military career has prepared her for the Thunderbirds team. With 1,300 F-15E Strike Eagle hours under her belt, she is ready to show and learn new skills on the demonstration team.

The mission and outreach are what stood out to her about being on the Thunderbird team.

“I know my life would be a lot different if someone hadn’t come to my school and placed that seed,” said Schlichting. “Hopefully I can do that with someone else one day.”

The Thunderbirds perform all over the world displaying the pride, precision, and professionalism the U.S. Air Force represents. Through school visits, air shows, and flyovers, they aim to excite and inspire. In addition to showcasing the elite skills all pilots must possess, the Thunderbirds demonstrate the incredible capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Schlichting is set to attend training and get ready for the upcoming season.

“I will go through the F-16 Fighting Falcon course to get an instrument qualification and learn how to fly the F-16,” said Schlichting. “Once at Nellis AFB, pretty much all winter is training season to get ready for the 2022 season.”

Schlichting offers advice to individuals interested in becoming a fighter jet pilot and to her peers interested in joining the Thunderbirds team.

“If you want to become a fighter pilot work hard, keep a positive attitude and go for it,” said, Schlichting. “It’s a 100 percent ‘no’ if you don’t try. For peers interested in the Thunderbirds, even if you are a little skeptical because it is a vulnerable process to put yourself through, it is definitely worth it. Job or no job, the application process was a unique and very cool experience.”

During the application process, Schlichting flew in the backseat of an aircraft during her flying interview. She also had the opportunity to attend an air show and see what the Thunderbird team does behind the scenes and went to Nellis AFB to see how the team prepares.

“I am looking forward to flying the F-16, the outreach, meeting people from all facets of the U.S., and the comradery of the team,” added Schlichting. “The comradery in a fighter squadron is close but it felt like it was even closer for the Thunderbird team. They spend so much time on the road together and have so much trust in flying with each other because they fly so close to each other and low to the ground.”

Schlichting is not the only one excited that she was selected to join the Thunderbirds team.

“The Seymour Johnson team is thrilled for Capt. Schlichting,” said Col. Kurt Helphinstine, 4th Fighter Wing commander. “We are going to miss her as she has been a valuable part of our team, sharing her knowledge and experience as an F-15E instructor here. I am excited for her new role as an Air Force ambassador and I am excited to see her return to Team Seymour as a Thunderbird pilot during our next air show in 2023.”

Article submitted by Senior Airman Kimberly Barrera, Seymour Johnson AFB

Permission granted for redistribution – photo and article credits to Senior Airman Kimberly Barrera

#SJAFB #USAF #Goldsboro #NorthCarolina #USAFThunderbirds #Aviation #Airshows #WingsOverWayne
2017 SJAFB Air Show Attracts Record Crowd of 230,000
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AFB, GOLDSBORO, NC – The pre-Memorial Day weekend Wings Over Wayne Air Show, held May 20 and 21 at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, attracted an all-time record crowd of 230,000. The biennial display of historic and contemporary airpower kicked off the 75th-anniversary celebration of the 4th Fighter Wing and the birth of military aviation in North Carolina.

The free, two-day event featured more than 20 aerial displays, including demonstrations by the headlining U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, the US Army Special Forces Black Daggers Parachute Demonstration Team, the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Demonstration Team, and a 4th Fighter Wing 75th anniversary historical review flight featuring the P-51D Mustang, the F-86 Sabre, and the F-15E Strike Eagle.
“I’m 84 years young, and this is my first air show ever,” said Betty Bailey from Ohio. “I’m so excited, I don’t know what to do. I’m just enjoying everything so much. I think they have done a fabulous job here.”

In addition to the aerial acts the 4th Security Forces Squadron provided military working dog demonstrations, set up a Combat Arms Team weapons display, and the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard performed with precision for the crowds. More than 35 static display aircraft were parked on the ramp.

Wings Over Wayne is held in odd-numbered years and is a way for Seymour Johnson to thank the local community for their support of airpower and the base’s mission. The base’s next air show is scheduled in May 2019.
This year’s air show was unique because it coincides with the 4th Fighter Wing’s 75th anniversary activated in September 1942 in Debden, England. Flying the American P-51 Mustang during World War II, the wing is credited as the top Allied fighter group, destroying 1,016 enemy aircraft and the first to infiltrate airspace over Germany.

In 1949, the Fighter Wing transitioned to the F-86 Sabre aircraft and flew missions during the Korean War. Again, the 4th was designated the top fighter unit during that conflict, destroying 502 enemy aircraft.

The 336th Fighter Squadron became the first operational F-15E Strike Eagle squadron in 1989, and in 1991, the 4th Fighter Wing became the first fully operational Strike Eagle wing in the U.S. Air Force.
The F-15E is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The Strike Eagle has served in many operations, including, DESERT STORM, SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, ANACONDA, IRAQI FREEDOM AND INHERENT RESOLVE.

In September 2017, the 4th Fighter Wing will celebrate the 75th anniversary with a weekend of events including a Battle of Britain ceremony, heritage aircraft static displays, a 50-year-old time capsule unveiling, base tours and other activities.

"The heritage of our wing is impressive. We have accomplished so much over the years. I am incredibly honored to be the commander during the year of our 75th anniversary," said Col. Christopher Sage. "We will celebrate this milestone with current and former 4th Fighter Wing heroes with a weekend of heritage events in September."

Media contact:

4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
P. 919-722-0027

Robert B Butler
North Carolina Press Release

Permission granted for reprint and redistribution

Seymour Johnson AFB Repositions Jets in Preparation for Hurricane Matthew 
Colonel Christopher Sage, Commander, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, Goldsboro, NC

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is repositioning 41 F-15E Strike Eagles from the 4th Fighter Wing and six KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft from the 916th Air Refueling Wing today to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

The repositioning is a precautionary measure to avoid potential damage to resources as a result of Hurricane Matthew. Airmen will also prepare Dare County Bomb Range and the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area for the anticipated impacts of Matthew.

“We are always ready to respond to whatever challenges are presented and adapt to any situation,” said Col. Christopher Sage, 4th Fighter Wing Commander. “The quick and professional response by our Airmen to Hurricane Matthew exemplifies our flexibility and preparedness.”

For the most up-to-date information on the status of Seymour Johnson AFB, check the website at as well Facebook and Twitter @SJAFB.

For further questions, contact 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs at (919)722-0027, or e- mail

Robert B Butler
Communications | PR


SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – Col. Christopher Sage assumed command of the 4th Fighter Wing during a change-of-command ceremony on June 30, 2016.

During the ceremony, Col. Mark Slocum, commander of the 4th FW since June of 2014, relinquished command to Sage and assumed his new position as Director of U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom. Maj. Gen. Scott Zobrist, the 9th Air Force
commander presided over the ceremony.

Sage, who served at Seymour Johnson AFB on two previous assignments, was most recently the senior military assistant to the deputy chairman of the NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium. He was stationed here from December 1994-1995 for F-15E Strike Eagle pilot training and again from 2004-2007 as a member of the 336th Fighter Squadron.

During his 22-year career, Sage has supported Operations NORTHERN WATCH, DELIBERATE FORGE, ALLIED FORCE, ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. He logged more than 4,100 flight hours, which include 1,100 combat hours.

See photo and bio for Col. Christopher Sage.

Robert B Butler
Communications | PR


Col. Christopher Sage is the Commander, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, N.C. As the commander, he is responsible for the organization, training and deployment of one of the largest fighter wings in the United States Air Force, consisting of nearly 6,000 Airmen and civilians and is home to the multi-role, all-weather F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft which is assigned to two operational and two training fighter squadrons, flying more than 15,000 sorties and 24,000 hours a year.

The 4th FW teams with and provides overall host support for the 916th Air Refueling Wing, an Air Force Reserve Command KC-135R wing with an active duty squadron. The wing's assets total $5.2 billion with an annual operating and maintenance budget of $240 million. 

Sage was previously the Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium. 

Colonel Sage entered the Air Force in June 1994 after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science. He is a Distinguished Graduate from Squadron Officer School and earned a Masters degree in Business Administration from Colorado State University in 2001. 

Colonel Sage’s assignments have been a mix of operational, training and staff tours with both the Navy and Air Force, culminating in over 4,200 flight hours. As an operational F-15E fighter pilot, he has over 1,100 combat hours and has participated in Operations NORTHERN WATCH, DELIBERATE FORGE, ALLIED FORCE, ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.

Sage also served as a Naval Flight Instructor while stationed aboard NAS Whiting Field. He is a Distinguished Graduate from the College of Naval Command and Staff at the Naval War College. He is also a graduate of the Maritime Advanced Warfighting School, the Navy’s Advanced Studies Group. His previous staff assignment was on the Air Staff, where he served as the Assistant Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Colonel Sage was previously a National Defense Fellow at Harvard University.

1994 Bachelor of Science Degree, Social Science, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. 2000 Masters of Business Administration, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.
2001 Squadron Officer School, in residence (distinguished graduate)
2005 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2008 Masters of Art, National
Security and Strategic Studies, College of Naval Command and Staff College, Naval War College, Newport, R.I. (distinguished graduate)
2008 Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (
SAASS Equivalent), Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
2010 Air War College, by correspondence
2012 Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
2012 USAF Leadership Enhancement Program, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, N.C.
2014 National Defense Fellow, Harvard University, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Cambridge, Mass.

1. December 1994 – December 1995, student, Joint Undergraduate Pilot Training, Reese AFB, TexasExercises and Inspections, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
2. May 1996 – December 1996, F-15E student pilot, 334th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
3. January 1996 – March 2000, F-15E Instructor Pilot, Chief of Mission Planning, 492d Fighter Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, UK
4. April 2000 – December 2003, T-34C Naval Flight Instructor, Flight Commander and Chief, Standardization/Evaluation and Training, VT-3, NAS Whiting Field, Fla.
5. April 2004 – July 2007, F-15E Evaluator Pilot, Chief of Scheduling, Assistant Director of Operations, 336th Fighter Squadron; Chief,
6. January 2005 – July 2007, Presidential Advance Agent, CVAM, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
7. August 2007 – September 2008, student, College of Naval Command and Staff; and Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (SAASS
equivalent), Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
8. August 2008 – January 2009, Chief, Joint Studies and Analysis Branch, Strategy and Integration Division, A8XS, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
9. February 2009 – March 2010, Assistant Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
10. June 2010 – January 2011, Director of Operations, 389th Fighter Squadron, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho 11. January 2011 – March 2012, Commander, 389th Fighter Squadron, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
12. March 2012 – June 2013, Commander, 366th Operations Group, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
13. July 2013 – July 2014, National Defense Fellow, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
14. July 2014 – June 2016, Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium
15. June 2016 – Present, Commander, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.

Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 4,200
Combat Hours: 1,116
Aircraft Flown: T-37, T-38, AT-38, T-34C and F-15E
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with twelve oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal
Naval and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Combat Action Medal
Presidential Unit Citation
Combat Readiness Medal with one oak leaf cluster National Defense Service Medal with service star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with three service stars Kosovo Campaign Medal with one service star Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two service stars
Iraq Campaign Medal with three service stars
Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terror Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
NATO Medal with service star

Second Lieutenant First Lieutenant Captain
Lieutenant Colonel Colonel
(Current as of June 2016)
1 June 1994 1 June 1996 1 June 1998
1 September 2004 1 June 2008
19 March 2012

Robert B Butler 
Communications | PR

Photo of F-86 Sabre removal from static display, prior to restoration by Seymour Johnson AFB volunteers
September 30, 2015
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Returning F-86 Sabre to City of Goldsboro, North Carolina
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – After 20-months of restoration, the 4th Fighter Wing will return an F-86 Sabre static display to the city of Goldsboro, N.C., Oct. 2, 2015.

The jet will be transported from the restoration hangar to the Piedmont-Airline Gate on Oct. 1, 2015. On Oct. 2 at 6 a.m., the aircraft will be lifted onto a flatbed trailer for its return trip to downtown Goldsboro.

The 4 FW volunteered 664 labor-hours to restore the aircraft, saving the city more than $80,000. The F-86 was the Air Force's first swept-wing jet fighter and made its initial flight in October 1947.
Originally designed as a high-altitude day-fighter, it was subsequently redesigned into an all-weather interceptor and a fighter-bomber for use in the Korean War. It was discontinued from active use in 1956. The static display is on loan to the city from the Air Force Museum, in Dayton, Ohio.
Robert B Butler | Communications | PR
May 19, 2015
Record Crowd Estimate of 205,000 Attends Seymour Johnson Air Show
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, NC – After a four-year hiatus due to congressional sequestration, Seymour Johnson’s 2015 Wings Over Wayne Air Show returned May 16-17 and thrilled an estimated 205,000 aerial enthusiasts. Attendance soared past a record crowd of 175,000 in 2011 and exceeded expectations for 2015.
The event featured aerial and ground performances from multiple military and civilian performers, as well as static displays of dozens of the Air Force’s most prominent aircraft for spectators to view up-close.
“This airshow didn’t just happen,” said Lt. Col. James Ladd, 2015 WOW Airshow and Open House director. “Through months of diligent planning and with the expertise of several agencies, including the 4th Fighter Wing; local law enforcement; emergency medical services; state, county and local governments; we were able to host the largest number of spectators in the history of Wings Over Wayne.”
The show was highlighted by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team. The group performed a myriad of acrobatic aerial maneuvers and precise formations to demonstrate the many capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
“I hope everyone had a great time and they felt inspired,” said Capt. Alexander Goldfein, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pilot number three. “We want to show what the jets are capable of, and even more importantly, what the Airmen are capable of. Hopefully, everyone left excited about the opportunities in the Air Force.”
While many of the performances focused on showcasing the abilities of both aircraft and aircrews, including the 4th FW’s very own F-15E Strike Eagles, others provided a different style of entertainment.
The Commemorative Air Force’s “Tora! Tora! Tora!” demonstration team recreated the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on U.S. Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with six World War II reproduction Japanese airplanes. The show stood as an active history lesson and memorial to those who lost their lives that day.
Free concerts closed out both days of the airshow. North Carolina native and national recording artist Kellie Pickler performed Saturday night, and Sunday was closed out by American Idol finalist Majesty Rose, who is also one of Goldsboro’s own.
Overall, the airshow delivered a variety of attractions for the masses to enjoy.
“I appreciate all who spent their weekend with us,” Ladd said. “I feel like our base hosted all of North Carolina for a weekend, and I’m really happy with the way the events turned out. If I could say one thing to all of those who thanked me, it would be to thank them in return for their support. I’ve been stationed in several states, I’ve been to different countries, and there’s never been any outpour of support and respect for military members like there is here. Thank you very much, North Carolina. We salute you!”
“This airshow didn’t just happen,” said Lt. Col. James Ladd, 2015 WOW Airshow and Open House director. “Through months of diligent planning and with the expertise of several agencies, including the 4th Fighter Wing; local law enforcement; emergency medical services; state, county and local governments; we were able to host the largest number of spectators in the history of Wings Over Wayne.”
Contributors: Robert B Butler, NCPressRelease, and Airman 1st Class Aaron Jenne, 4th FW SJAFB
March 6, 2015

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, is scheduled to hold the free Wings Over Wayne Airshow, featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, May 16-17, 2015.
In addition to the Thunderbirds, the following aerial and static displays are confirmed: Military aerial performers include, C-130 Hercules, QF-4 Phantom II, KC-135 Stratotanker, F- 15E Strike Eagle and the T-38 Talon.
Civilian aerial performers include the Tora! Tora! Tora! Bomb Squad, Kevin Coleman Extra 300 SHP, Jacquie B. Warda Extra 300, Bill Stein Edge 540, Matt Younkin C-45, Jack Knutson Extra 300, Scott Yoak P-51 Mustang and Gene Soucy biplane.
Static displays include the F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, T-38 Talon, F-15E Strike Eagle, T-1A Jayhawk, QF-4 Phantom, E-3 Sentry AWACS, T-6 Texan, L-39C, UH-1 Huey, T-6 SNJ, A-7 Corsair Museum, P-51 Mustang “Swamp Fox”, OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, Bellanca Decathlon, Cessna 182, Experimental-Glastar Sportsman, Van’s RV-8, Glider. Additionally, there will ground performances by Precision Exotics Lamborghini drivers.

Aerial and static performances are still being collected and will be added in the coming weeks.

The 4th Fighter Wing is currently accepting requests for pre-show interviews with the air show director, Lt. Col. James Ladd, for all news outlets during the month of March.

Please contact the 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office at (919) 722-0027 or email to schedule an interview as soon as possible as there is limited availability.
Robert B Butler | PR
Feb. 4, 2015
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – United States Air Force Lt. Col. (Ret) Barry Bridger, former F-4 Phantom pilot and Vietnam POW, gave a speech as part of the 4th Fighter Wing’s Leadership Lecture Series, Feb. 4.
Bridger spoke about his six years spent in the North Vietnam Hanoi prison system after being shot down on January 23, 1967.
While serving as a POW, Bridger was subject to intense torture, denied medical care and at times food and water.
While detailing his account of this period in his life, Bridger related the experience to today’s wartime environment.
According to Bridger, the North Vietnamese’s intent was to use the POWs as propaganda to sway international opinion of American operations. The POWs were repeatedly attacked by their captors in an effort to break their will. Interrogators used specific programs to achieve their objectives much the same as those used by U.S. adversaries today. To this day, Bridger feels those tactics were unsuccessful.
“Never underestimate the power of the human spirit,” Bridger said. “The North Vietnamese [attempts at achieving their objectives] were continually burned by American POWs because of the amateurish efforts at exploitation and the spirit of those Americans.”
Bridger said he gained strength through communicating with fellow POWs, laughter and prayer. “Never underestimate the power of knowledge,” Bridger added as he spoke of how POWs would band together, constantly communicating on every topic imaginable.

The dialogue set POWs up for success later in life as they returned to America to excel in specialized academics and went on to successful careers in engineering and one particular roommate of Bridger who went on to become a medical doctor.
Upon his return to America, he received a hero’s welcome by more than 8,000 citizens and a key to his hometown city of Bladenboro, North Carolina.
“Your conduct is predetermined by the values you bring to the fight,” Bridger said in closing. “Ideas such as faith, family, friends and service will allow you to come back from war a better, more determined person.”
Following his presentation, Bridger answered individual questions thanked everyone in attendance for their service and remained to shake hands and take photos.
For more information email
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs 1510 Wright Brothers Ave., Ste. 200 Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C. 27531-2468 
Robert B Butler | PR
October 20, 2014
4th FW children participate in Operation Bug Out
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- One by one, 28 of Team Seymour's youngest members lined up with their recently issued deployment gear.
Gripping their belongings tightly, they slowly boarded a bus en route to their next destination: an aircraft on the flightline of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.
Their mission; deploy in support of the Airman and Family Readiness Center's Operation Bug Out.
In order to help them understand what their parents do to prepare for real-world deployments, children between the ages of five and 15 participated in a mock deployment Oct. 15.
The event mirrored the events of an actual deployment including briefings, processing through a personnel deployment function line and transporting their equipment to an awaiting military aircraft.
"It's difficult when a military parent deploys," said Master Sgt. Edward McBride, Airman and Family Readiness Center NCO in charge of readiness. "It brings a lot of adjustment, but I think Operation Bug Out brings perspective and reality to children, allowing them to get an idea of what parents go through and why it's important that they deploy. It's a great opportunity for us as military members to showcase what we have on base and bring a smile to a child's face."
The event began at the Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer facility where they received their deployment orders and initial briefings from Col. Mark Slocum, 4th Fighter Wing commander.
After receiving their orders, each child was given a simulated oath of enlistment before being ushered through the processing line. While going through the line, the children and their parents were able to speak with several base representatives, to include members of the base finance office, public health and the chapel. Afterward, each child boarded busses for their next destination: the KC-135R Stratotanker that would simulate taking them to their deployed destination.
The children wrapped up their deployment by visiting the simulated deployed location in a hangar near the aircraft. In the hangar, Airmen from agencies across base, including security forces and the fire department, provided demonstrations for each child. The children also chowed down on Meals Ready to Eat to fill them up during their busy deployment.
"I'm a father and a big kid at heart, so to see the EOD robots and the fire department with Sparky the firedog and the smiles they always bring, it really made me happy, because that's what it's all about," McBride said. "It's all about taking care of our families."
Staff Sgt. Ivan Alandzak, with the 4th Civil Engineer Squadron, said it wasn't just the kids who were fortunate to experience the event; the parents benefited as well.
"I think they'll have a better understanding of what goes on when daddy's gone," he said. "It's a little thing they get to experience that helps them understand at a young age what we do and why we do it."
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs 1510 Wright Brothers Ave., Ste. 200 Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C. 27531-2468
Robert B Butler | PR
October 14, 2014
Chief Master Sargent of the Air Force talks vision, priorities at Seymour Johnson
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody addresses the crowd during an all call Oct. 9, 2014, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. Cody paid visits to several units throughout the 4th Fighter Wing as well as the base’s Reserve component, the 916th Air Refueling Wing. During his all calls, Cody discussed force management, professional military education, the enlisted evaluation and promotion system, and the challenges ahead for the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Aaron Jenne)
From left, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody, Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Craver and Staff Sgt. John Makripodis gear up before participating in a tactical operation exercise at the 4th Security Forces Squadron shoot house Oct. 9, 2014, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. Carver is 4th Fighter Wing command chief and Makripodis is with the 4th SFS. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashley Thum)
By Airman 1st Class Brittain Crolley, 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs / Published October 14, 2014
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (AFNS) -- Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody and his wife, retired Chief Master Sgt. Athena Cody, wrapped up a two-day visit here, Oct. 10.

The Air Force's top enlisted leader paid visits to several units throughout the 4th Fighter Wing as well as the base's Reserve component, the 916th Air Refueling Wing.

Cody discussed force management, professional military education, the enlisted evaluation and promotion system and the challenges ahead for the Air Force.

Cody said Airmen in every wing have been impacted by force management programs, but it's important to remember these Airmen are still a part of the Air Force.

"Those Airmen are still here, sitting and working next to you," he said. "They're valuable parts of our teams, they're important people, and they deserve our respect and support. We should do everything we can for them until the very last day they're allowed to wear the uniform. We owe them that."

Cody also shed light on the Air Force's current professional military education philosophies.

"If you don't invest in education, you're not developing the right type of Airmen over time," Cody said. "What we're seeing right now, especially on the enlisted side, is a move toward blended learning for professional military education. All the top educational institutions around the world use blended learning because it's proven as a better method of educating. It's both learner-centric and instructor-centric. Whether it's a brick and mortar learning environment or an online learning environment, both offer unique and significant benefits. We can raise the education level of all Airmen via distance learning as well as in-residence opportunities."

Cody touched on the frequently referenced suggestion of doing more with less; a challenge Cody says the Air Force must meet head on with hard work and dedication. 

"The American people expect us to work hard," he said. "At the end of the day, you likely should be tired because you've worked hard. When we're talking about doing more with less, I think what we're really talking about is work-life balance. We're always going to work hard, and that's what our nation expects. Doing more with less is our badge of honor. We have an incredible asset of innovative Airmen. Doing more with less; that's what innovative Airmen do. How can I do it better? How can I do it faster? How can I save resources? You should be asking yourself those questions every day."

A current topic trending among most of the enlisted ranks is the new enlisted evaluation and promotion system. Cody highlighted the changes and provided his vision for the freshly minted program going forward.

"This is huge," Cody said. "This is the biggest change in the enlisted evaluation system since its inception. Everything is changing. The most important thing that has happened for each and every one of you is the Airman Comprehensive Assessment. I know you're very interested and excited about the new EPR and how that affects WAPS. You're excited about it because you know it impacts your career."

The chief also stressed meaningful, purposeful feedback is going to help Airmen understand what the expectations are of them and where they show potential.

"We want you to sit down and have a conversation built on respect and trust; a professional relationship where you can get to know that person and help them achieve their goals and clearly communicate what the expectations are," he said. "That's how you get better; that's how you reach your full potential."

Cody closed out his day-one all call by bringing the current state of the Air Force in sharp historical focus.

"The 4th Fighter Wing has a rich history," he said. "It's always inspiring and motivating for me when you connect with that history and you think about the legacy of those that came before us--those giants and those heroes -- all the things they did so we could sit here today.

"Never in the history of our country have we been more globally engaged. We're experiencing the longest sustained combat operations in the history of our country. Never has our country been engaged in combat longer than those men and women who serve in uniform today. And this is the first time this has ever been done in history with an all-volunteer force. That's your legacy. The giants and heroes of our Air Force are in this room, the fellow women and men that you serve with, supported by amazing families that are willing to go through this with us."

The chief's visit was punctuated by a trip to the 4th Security Forces Squadron's shoot house where he donned full battle gear and experienced a tactical operation first-hand.

"We showed the chief what we do both at home and deployed," said Staff Sgt. Justin Hovis of the 4th SFS. "We got him geared up, we took some fire, returned some fire, and cleared a few facilities, and the chief led us in the clearing of a few of the rooms. He did a great job staying with the team, keeping up with it. He was moving fast."

Cody said the 4th SFS did a phenomenal job setting up the training.

"It was a great experience," Cody said. "I really appreciated the opportunity to go into the shoot house with our defenders and experience how they maintain their edge."
Robert B Butler | PR
 October 1, 2014
USO Show Troupe Tour to perform at Seymour Johnson AFB

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – The United Service Organizations (USO) Show Troupe will provide a free concert at the 916th Air Refueling Wing hangar here Oct. 3, at 6:30 p.m.
The concert is appropriate for all ages and open to all DOD card holders and their families. It was also mark the first USO Show Troupe concert held on Seymour Johnson AFB. General seating is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Show Troupe performers possess extensive Broadway, Off-Broadway, film and T.V. experience and perform for more than 600,000 troops and family members annually. Their musical range includes patriotic, big band, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, disco, Motown, country, Broadway and current Top 40 hits as well as holiday music.
The USO is a non-profit organization that provides morale, welfare, and recreational services to United States military personnel.
Any media that would like to attend may RSVP by contacting the 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office at (919) 722-0027, or email For all other USO or event- related inquiries please call (919) 722-7195.

Media Advisory
United States Air Force
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs 1510 Wright Brothers Ave., Ste. 200 Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C. 27531-2468 Tele: (919) 722-0027 DSN: 722-0027 Fax: (919) 722-0007 DSN: 722-0007
Release No.: 14-10-01

Robert B Butler | PR
September 9, 2014

4th Fighter Wing to hold 9/11 Memorial Events

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – The 4th Fighter Wing will hold several memorial events Sept. 11, in honor of victims of the attacks in 2001. 

The 9/11 Memorial Ceremony will take place at 8:20 a.m., Sept.11, at the base firehouse. 

Immediately following the ceremony, the 9/11 memorial 24-hour run will begin. The run will continuously circle the 2-mile track around the Three Eagles Golf Course until 8:20 a.m., Sept. 12. Any interested personnel are welcome to join the run at any time.

Last year during the 24-hour run, Lt. Col. (Dr.) Anthony Bankes, 4th Aerospace Medicine Squadron commander, ran 50 miles in remembrance of the victims of 9/11. All told, 1,481 miles were completed by 23 different units. 

This is the seventh year for these events in remembrance of 9/11, which provide the Seymour Johnson community an opportunity to gather and reflect on the tragic events of September 2001.

Both events are open to all DOD card holders.

For more information, or to RSVP for the events, contact the 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office at 919-722-0027 or email
#SJAFB #USAF #NCPressRelease
Robert B Butler | PR
August 11, 2014
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – Members of Team Seymour, along with local and state officials, will break ground on a new state-of-the-art medical facility Aug. 12, at 8:15 a.m.
Construction on the 106,000 square foot, $53 million facility will begin in Jan 2015 and eventually become home to the 4th Medical Group, replacing the current facility built in 1959.
Scheduled for completion in October 2016, the new 4th MDG will be the largest building, excluding aircraft hangars, on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
Once it opens, the new 4th MDG facility will have the most up-to-date integrated technology available to provide top-notch health and wellness to the community and maintain a combat ready and deployable force. Furthermore, the proposed architecture of the new facility is designed to pay homage to the 4th Fighter Wing’s aviation history, while maximizing energy efficiency. Improved patient flow, space utilization and the use of natural light are all combined in an effort to provide a patient care experience unrivalled by any other unit in the Air Force.
For more information: 
Robert B Butler | PR
B-roll footage supplied by SJAFB Public Affairs

Fifty-two North Carolina Purple Heart Recipients Honored
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – Fifty-two North Carolina recipients, including three active-duty Airmen from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, were honored at the Annual Purple Heart Banquet, Aug. 7, in Goldsboro. Recipients represented every major conflict since WWII.
From Seymour Johnson: Col. Christopher Freeman, 414th Fighter Group commander, Staff Sgt. Justin Beasley, 4th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal technician and Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Seekell, 4th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog trainer, were honored for their service and sacrifice.

Freeman was awarded a Purple Heart from injuries to his lower body during the Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia in June 1996. 

Beasley was awarded the medal after receiving head wounds and hearing loss when an improvised explosive device detonated during a deployment to Afghanistan in June 2013.

Seekell received a Purple Heart after suffering severe trauma to his left leg from an IED while deployed to Afghanistan in May 2011.
June 26, 2014
Statue dedication to honor Double Ace, retired major general, author

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AFB, N.C. – A statue dedication ceremony for the late Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Frederick Blesse will take place June 27, at 9 a.m. at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.
The dedication ceremony will take place at the 334th Fighter Squadron and includes a speech by Lt. Col Donn Yates, 334th FS commander, and a flyover. Several members of Blesse’s family will be in attendance.
A former member of the 334th FS Eagles, Blesse passed away in October 2012.
Blesse was a Double Ace who served for 30 years and logged more than 6,500 flying hours in more than 10 different aircraft, including the F-100 Super Sabre and F-4 Phantom II.
A 1945 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy West Point, N.Y., Blesse authored the fighter tactics book, No Guts, No Glory, which is used during fighter combat operations for the U.S. Air Force, Royal Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, Chinese Nationalist and the Korean Air Force.
For more information, call the 4th FW Public Affairs office at (919) 722-0027 or email 
Robert B Butler | PR |
June 19, 2014

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – Two Airmen from the 4th Fighter Wing will receive Bronze Star Medals June 23, during a commander’s call at the base theater.
Chief Master Sgt. Carroll Holcombe, 4th Civil Engineer Squadron superintendent, and Tech. Sgt. Jason Luckenbaugh, 4th CES explosive ordnance disposal technician, will be presented the awards for actions in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Holcombe’s accomplishments during his recent deployment included contributions to the establishment of U.S. Air Force Central Command’s first KC-135 forward operating base in Afghanistan. The base and subsequent personnel successfully contributed to the distribution of 142 million gallons of fuel, moved 108 million pounds of cargo and 336,000 personnel in 2,950 total sorties. The strategic location of the base ultimately saved $30 million in operational costs.
This is Luckenbaugh’s third Bronze Star Medal. The other two were awarded in 2009 and 2012 respectively. For this award, Luckenbaugh, while serving in Afghanistan, supervised a nine-person team completing 71 combat missions and personally spent more than 750 hours outside the wire. He successfully neutralized 21 improvised explosive devices and coordinated recovery of a convoy element, orchestrating movement of supporting assets to prevent further damage and potential loss of life.
Originally authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, the Bronze Star Medal is awarded to personnel who distinguish themselves apart from their comrades by brave or praiseworthy achievement or service during a conflict involving an enemy of the United States.
For more information, contact the 4th Fighter Wing public affairs office at (919) 722- 0027 or
Robert B Butler |
Seymour Johnson AFB - Breaking News


Seymour Johnson AFB - Breaking News

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