Col. Helphinstine Looks At 4th Fighter Wing’s Future

Col. Helphinstine Looks At 4th Fighter Wing’s Future

With an economic impact of nearly $750 million annually, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base remains a critical asset for Wayne County.

Tuesday, the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce held its annual State of the Military, providing an inside look at the happenings at the local Air Force base.

4th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Kurt Helphinstine says the COVID-19 pandemic threw a curveball to the base’s operations this year.

He says the base has 200 airmen deployed at any given time, and it helps knowing their families are well taken care of in the Goldsboro community.

Helphinstine talked about the future of the F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to Seymour Johnson.

The F-15Es are nearly 40-years-old, but Helphinstine says the aircraft will remain relevant to the Air Force thanks to the fact that you can employ almost any new weapon or equipment on the jet.

He’s also hopeful the base would be a good fit for the next generation of fighter jets that will be built in small batches.

Col. Helphinstine says Seymour Johnson is hoping to work closer with the community, particularly Wayne County Public Schools, in an effort to strengthen the base’s bond to the Wayne County area and help assure it’s future.

The State of the Military was held at The Maxwell Center and broadcast virtually.

The leaders of the 916th Air Refueling Wing and the Military Affairs Committee also made presentations at Tuesday’s State of the Military event.

Goldsboro Daily News will have details from those presentations in the coming days.

Col. Kurt Helphinstine delivers his presentation live and on Facebook at the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce’s State of the Military event.