HomeNewsArticle Display

Kingsley Field hosts ANG Director

Lt Gen Loh observes construction

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh, left, director, Air National Guard, surveys the ramp construction with Lt. Col. Lee Bouma, commander, 173rd Maintenance Group, 173rd Fighter Wing, Oregon National Guard, June 25, 2021 at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Loh toured Kingsley Field to observe the pilot training mission, to hear about the legacy F-15 maintenance program, and to brief the wing on his vision of the transition to the new F-15EX Eagle II. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Adam Smith)

Lt. Gen Loh observes simulator setup

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen Michael A. Loh, director, Air National Guard, is briefed on a simulator setup that students with the F-15 Formal Training Unit use to practice maneuvers, June 25, 2021 at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Loh toured Kingsley Field to observe the pilot training mission, to hear about the legacy F-15 maintenance program, and to brief the wing on his vision of the transition to the new F-15EX Eagle II. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Adam Smith)

Lt. Gen Loh listens to briefing

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen Michael A. Loh, right, director, Air National Guard, listens as he is briefed on the maintenance status of the legacy F-15 Eagle, June 25, 2021 at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Loh toured Kingsley Field to observe the pilot training mission, to hear about the legacy F-15 maintenance program, and to brief the wing on his vision of the transition to the new F-15EX Eagle II. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Adam Smith)

Lt Gen Loh listens to briefing

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Loh, right, director, Air National Guard, discusses metal fatigue on the F-15 Eagle with Senior Airman Joseph Rodgers, sheet metal mechanic, 173rd Fighter Wing, Oregon National Guard, June 25, 2021 at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Loh toured Kingsley Field to observe the pilot training mission, to hear about the legacy F-15 maintenance program, and to brief the wing on his vision of the transition to the new F-15EX Eagle II. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Adam Smith)

Lt Gen Loh kneels on F-15D with Airman

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Loh, center, director, Air National Guard, observes the non-destructive inspection (NDI) process on an F-15D Eagle with Tech. Sgt. Tylor Strop, NDI technician, 173rd Fighter Wing, Oregon National Guard, June 25, 2021 at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Loh toured Kingsley Field to observe the pilot training mission, to hear about the legacy F-15 maintenance program, and to brief the wing on his vision of the transition to the new F-15EX Eagle II. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Adam Smith)

Lt Gen Loh presents coin

U.S Air Force Lt. Gen Michael Loh, left, director, Air National Guard, describes a challenge coin to Master Sgt. Scott Sundseth, Electrical and Environmental maintainer, 173rd Fighter Wing, Oregon National Guard, June 25, 2021 at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Loh toured Kingsley Field to observe the pilot training mission, to hear about the legacy F-15 maintenance program, and to brief the wing on his vision of the transition to the new F-15EX Eagle II. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Adam Smith)

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. -- On an unusually hot Friday at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore., U.S. Air Force Col. Jeff Edwards, 173rd Fighter Wing commander, and Brig. Gen. Donna Prigmore, Oregon Air National Guard (ANG) commander, assembled on the ramp to welcome Lt. Gen. Michael Loh, ANG director, as he stopped to visit Kingsley Field on June 25, 2021.

Loh joined senior leaders from around Kingsley Field to receive updates about the local fighter training mission, discuss issues with maintenance, and lay out his vision for the upcoming transition to the F-15EX Eagle II, slated to begin in 2023.

Among the issues discussed was the challenge of training students to fly 40-year-old jets, which present more maintenance issues as they age. According to Lt. Col. Lee Bouma, 173rd Maintenance Group commander, as more jets reach their end of life, maintainers must work harder to keep the remaining jets operational to meet the training quotas.

Following lunch, Loh toured the operations building where he spoke to pilots, presented coins, and saw the simulator setup that student pilots use to practice flight maneuvers from the ground. He also stopped through the intelligence formal training unit to meet the intelligence students and see how they learn at the 173rd Fighter Wing.

From there, the General’s party stopped in the maintenance hangars to see first-hand the maintenance issues that the Airmen face with keeping the F-15 operational. Loh climbed on top of the Eagle to see how the jet is inspected for metal fatigue.

The non-destructive inspection Airmen described the microscopic cracks that develop as the jets perform high-speed maneuvers which, while invisible to the naked eye, can weaken the aircraft structure and make the jet unsafe to fly.

Loh finished the day by visiting the new Resilience Operations Center (ROC), a purpose-built location focused on reshaping the stigma around mental health and seeking guidance. The ROC includes a kitchen, discrete entrances, space for classes, and private noise-insulated meeting rooms.

As he finished his tour, Loh said he was impressed by the Kingsley Airmen, saying “The integration of Total Force between the Guard and the Active Duty and what they do for national defense has been wonderful.”

He continued to praise the local guardsmen, adding, “It’s the Airmen, the people that truly make it happen, and I greatly appreciate all the work that they’re doing to keep these forty-year old planes flying and to keep the mission running and training our next generation of fighter pilots.”