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Maj. Gen. Laurie M. Farris visits the farthest-north KC-135 refueling unit, 168th Wing

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey
  • 168th Wing

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - Maj. Gen. Laurie M. Farris, Air National Guard Assistant to the commander, Air Mobility Command, visited the 168th Wing and had a look at the farthest-north KC-135 refueling unit. 
She is the Air National Guard Assistant to the Commander, Air Mobility Command, responsible for advising on all air mobility issues impacting the Air National Guard. She ensures requirements for the Air Guard are included in all planning, programming, and execution phases of Air Mobility Command mission elements: airlift, aerial refueling, special air missions, and aeromedical evacuation.

Farris expressed heartfelt gratitude for the mission the 168th Wing accomplishes in Alaska as the Arctic tanker mission.

“The work you do here in the Arctic is important, and it does not go unnoticed,” said Farris. “I hear things about your unit and aircraft daily as a part of the mission.”

Farris believed it was important to visit the strategic Airmen accomplishing the refueling mission for NORAD and the Pacific Air Forces in the Arctic and around the world.

During the tour, she visited with Airmen to find out what they would like her to bring back about their needs for the mission. The visit provided information on the unique training and mission capabilities as the significant world-class platform for military operations worldwide.

“I felt it was important to visit and get out and know the folks who are accomplishing the tanker mission in the Arctic,” said Farris. “You are important, and I appreciate your hard work and talent.”

She coined a maintenance Airmen and said, “As a pilot, I’m thankful for maintenance Airmen. The elements you work under here in Alaska are remarkable. I hear good things about how you take care of transient crews and aircraft, helping them while here on the mission at Eielson. I can’t thank you enough for what you do for the mission.”

While at the 168th Wing, Farris coined Master Sgt. Brent Garrison of the 168th Medical Group, Senior Airman Kyle Davis of the 168th Security Forces, Lt. Dalton Galindo, KC-135 pilot, Master Sgt. Justin Sawyer, aircrew flight equipment, Master Sgt. Billie Mallula, dedicated crew chief and Staff Sgt. Trevor Correa, Aerospace Ground Equipment, as key leaders of the 168th Wing mission.

Maj. Gen. Farris is a command pilot with over 5,000 flight hours. She has flown the KC-135 A/R, T-37 and T-38. Farris is a native of Marshfield, Massachusetts. Upon graduation of the U.S. Air Force Academy and pilot training at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, she was assigned to the 42nd Air Refueling Squadron, Loring AFB, Maine. Maj. Gen. Farris joined the New Hampshire Air National Guard in 1995. She has supported combat air refueling with numerous missions flown in operations: Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Restore Hope, Southern Watch, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. In 2011, she was assigned to Joint Force Headquarters-New Hampshire as Director of Operations and also served as the Chief of Staff for the New Hampshire Air National Guard.

Prior to her current position, Maj. Gen. Farris served dual-hatted as the Assistant Adjutant General for Air, New Hampshire National Guard, and the Air National Guard Assistant to the Air Force, International Affairs Secretary. As Assistant Adjutant General, she was the principal advisor on New Hampshire Air National Guard matters. As ANG Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, Maj. Gen. Farris built, sustained, and expanded theater security cooperation and international relationships for expeditionary air and space forces in global operations.