Greg Walden announces Air Force Secretary visit to Kingsley Field

October 30, 2018
Press Release

Greg Walden announces Air Force Secretary visit to Kingsley Field

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson to join Walden in Klamath Falls to meet with base commanders, troops, and local veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today announced that the Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, will visit Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base in Klamath Falls this weekend on invitation from Representative Walden. Secretary Wilson will join Walden in Klamath Falls to meet with the troops and commanders at Kingsley Field to learn more about the home of Oregon Air National Guard’s 173rd Fighter Wing, including the base’s capability to become a future home of a next-generation fighter jet, such as the F-35.

“I am proud to announce that, for the first time in the base’s history, the Secretary of the United States Air Force is coming to Kingsley Field,” said Walden. “Kingsley Field plays a vital role in America’s military readiness and the local economy, and enjoys overwhelming support from the community in Klamath Falls. Secretary Wilson will get a firsthand look at the expansive air space, top-grade military infrastructure, and the unmatched work ethic of Kingsley’s leaders and the troops stationed here, and learn more about why the base is a fitting home for the F-35. Secretary Wilson and I served together in the House of Representatives, and we have been working together over several months with Colonel Jeff Smith and the Oregon Air National Guard to make this visit a success. I appreciate Secretary Wilson’s willingness to spend the time here on the ground in Klamath Falls to get a better understanding of the military capabilities, vast training space, and broad community support that make Kingsley Field integral to our national defense strategy and uniquely suited for the F-35.”

Today’s announcement comes less than two weeks after Representative Walden invited the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Mac Thornberry (R-TX), to Kingsley Field to meet with commanders at Kingsley and hear about their priorities for the base. Representative Walden has been a steadfast advocate in Congress for maintaining a military presence at Kingsley Field and ensuring the base has the long-term support it needs to succeed into the future.

The upcoming visit by Secretary Wilson represents the first time that an Air Force Secretary has been to Kingsley Field since the construction of the base in 1928. Kingsley Field and the United States Air Force recently secured a 77-year lease with the City of Klamath Falls to ensure a military presence at the base until 2095. This represents the longest lease currently established between the Air Force and a military base in the United States.

Secretary Wilson will join Representative Walden at Kingsley Field on Saturday, November 3. Further details on the agenda of the visit will be provided in the coming days.