Air Force Featured Stories

Vice President, Second Lady visit Grand Forks AFB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Elora J. Martinez
  • 319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Vice President of the United States Michael Pence spoke with Airmen at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., July 25, 2018, while Karen Pence, the Second Lady of the United States, hosted a seminar for military spouses.

Before speaking to the troops, the vice president learned about RQ-4 Global Hawk worldwide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and saw the aircraft in person.

Mike Pence’s talk highlighted the important mission Grand Forks AFB serves to national security, and he thanked the Airmen on base, all of whom directly impact the RQ-4 Global Hawk mission.

“The 69th Reconnaissance Group flies the Global Hawks that give our theater commanders the intelligence, surveillance and target-acquisition data they need to defeat any enemy, anywhere, anytime,” he praised. “And the 319th Communications Squadron operates America’s High Frequency Global Communications Systems, which ensures our military leaders, including your commander in chief, are able to maintain strategic command and control across the world.”

After wrapping up his speech, Pence took time to shake hands with Airmen in attendance.

Col. Benjamin Spencer, 319th Air Base Wing commander, spoke about Pence’s visit before introducing the vice president to the audience of Airmen.

“I’ve only seen three of these visits in my 24 years of service: two presidents and one vice president,” Spencer explained. “I told all young Airmen not to take this visit for granted because they could serve 20 or 25 years in the Air Force and maybe not see it again.”

Karen Pence met with ten military spouses and listened to the challenges they face.

“One thing we want to do is elevate the position of military spouses,” she said. “Our spouses and military children serve right alongside our service members, and that can be challenging. Our goal is to make people aware of the issues that they face.”

Karen Pence said the session allowed her to gather useful information about the concerns of the spouses she met with. One of the issues mentioned by spouses was the difficulty many Air Force spouses have finding employment and transferring professional certifications between states due to moving frequently.

“We have such respect for military spouses,” said Mrs. Pence. “The spouses we met with today were open and vulnerable, and very articulate. They knew what they wanted us to be aware of. For me, it is a very humbling thing, because I know it is not an easy life, and I just want them to know that we appreciate all that they do.”