Fail: Walker features Japanese jet in Air Force tribute


On the Air Force’s 70th birthday, it was an unfortunate case of mistaken identity.

The USAF anniversary Facebook post of Gov. Bill Walker failed the vetting process and featured this, a photo of a Japanese F-15, which was likely a file photo from when the Japan Air Force was in Alaska for training in 2011:

Walker’s communications shop is to be forgiven. After all, the F-15 is moving pretty fast in the photo, and the Japanese are our allies. To many of us civilians, these jets are hard to differentiate.

When Facebook user Jeffrey Pete Peterson pointed out the mistake, the Governor’s Office hastily removed the embarrassing post above and replaced it with this version (and we call on our Air Force friends to identify the aircraft):

The U.S. Air Force celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. From the time that the US military purchased its first aircraft in 1909 up to 1947, the USAF was known by many other names: Aeronautical Section, Signal Corps; Aviation Section, Signal Corps; United States Army Air Service; United States Army Air Corps, United States Army Air Forces

President Truman signed the National Security Act on Sept. 18, 1947, establishing the U.S. Air Force as an independent service.

Earlier this month, Air Force leaders visited Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks with U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan to better understand Arctic strategic advantages.

“We all know Russia is significantly building its military presence in the Arctic,” Sullivan said. “We essentially have the leadership of the US Air Force in Alaska looking at these key issues and developing their own Arctic strategy.”

Sullivan posted this for the anniversary of the Air Force. Did he get it right? Jeffrey Pete Peterson says so.


  1. My Father George E. Shaw was a WWII Navy Veteran serving on the USS Arkansas as a radio technician. After the War he left the Navy and joined the US Army Air Corps in 1946 to help map Alaska using radio waves for Aviation flights. He was station at Ladd Air Field in Fairbanks now Eielson AFB. He met my Mother Helen Moum at Ladd Air Field who work for US Customs. Her job during the war was checking out the Russian pilots flying planes back to Russia under the lend lease program. According to my Mother nylons and cigarettes were their main wants.

    I was born at Ladd Air Field Oct 15 1948 and My brother Jerry was born Oct. 10 1049 at Ladd Air Field. For 5 days we were the same age and he let me know about it. :} My second brother Doug was conceived in Alaska but was born in Kalispell Montana Sept 1951. We left Alaska when my Father was in a terrible crash with a Fuel truck hitting him at Ladd Air Field and he was in critical shape for several months and was medivac to Seattle and we moved to my Mothers parents place in Montana. I grew up in Montana thru the 8th grade and Oregon thru High School and College. I went to Vietnam 1970-71 and after that went back to school and got a Associate Diesel Service Degree and come back to Alaska in 1974 with my wife Shirley and son Jason. My daughter Kimberlee was born in 1980 and we Been here except for a couple 1-2 year breaks for 43 years. Love Alaska

  2. This article has a common quote from Senator Sullivan. And that is the Russians, who are oil-broke like Alaska, are building big bases in the Arctic. I say show us where this is happening Dan. Google maps has satellite imagery of all of Russia. Should be easy to see for ourselves. Have asked Dano for Google maps URLs for the new Russian bases several times. No response. So IMO, Sullivan plays the Cold War scare tactics card just to justify spending money on military. When it is not needed. That’s called waste and bilking the public.

  3. The second picture from Walker is an F-16 in Aggressor Squadron paint job, probably from the unit based at Eielson (354th Fighter Wing, 18th Aggressor squadron, tail letter “AK”).

    Sullivan’s picture is an F-22, which is only operated by USAF. This is the same type based at JBER, however cant see the tail letters to identify home station.

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