• Military Appreciation Banquet
    Friday, April 28, 2017

  • This year marks the 49th anniversary of the Military Appreciation Banquet, an event that began almost 50 years ago by Jim and Rosemary Messer*.  What started out as small "dinner-in'the-home" parties in their home for their friends in the military quickly grew and prospered to an banquet event for nearly 600 people.  The evening honors the military personnel from Interior Alaska who have been honored for their excellence, leadership, and commitment in service to our armed forces. The banquet is a great way for our community to show our gratitude and support for our friends in uniform.  The 2017 banquet will be held on Friday, April 28th at 6 p.m. at the Carlson Center. 

    The banquet program includes recognition of military members who have exhibited distinguished service to our country, volunteer of the year recipients from each of the installations, and a member of the community who best promoted military/community relations over the years, known as the The Jim Messer Award.

    This event would not be possible without the generous support of the business community.  If you are interested in sponsoring this event, please call Christina Tachick, Events & Programs Coordinator at (907) 374-6705.


    *Jim Messer was the Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee for the Fairbanks Chamber for many years and, for decades, he was on the front lines of our community’s efforts to offer the military an environment of friendliness, first-class housing, and a quality of life second to none.

  • Lt. Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach is Commander, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, North American Aerospace Defense Command; Commander, Alaskan Command, U.S. Northern Command; Commander, Eleventh Air Force, Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. He is the senior military officer in Alaska, responsible for the integration of all military activities in the Alaskan joint operations area, synchronizing the activities of more than 21,000 active-duty and reserve forces from all services. He is also responsible for the planning and execution of all Homeland Defense operations within the theater, including security and civil support actions.  General Wilsbach also commands Eleventh Air Force, overseeing the training and readiness of five wings and Air Force installations located in Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam.  As Commander of the Alaskan Region of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, General Wilsbach directs operations to ensure effective surveillance, monitoring and defense of the region’s airspace.

    General Wilsbach was commissioned in 1985 as a distinguished graduate of the University of Florida’s ROTC program and earned his pilot wings in 1986 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. He is a command pilot with more than 3,800 hours in multiple aircraft, primarily in the F-15C, MC-12 and F-22A, and has flown 71 combat missions in operations Northern Watch, Southern Watch and Enduring Freedom.

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