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Bomber squadron begins swap out, prepares to head home

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- A B-52 Stratofrotress from the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., prepares for engine start-up March 14. The crew chiefs and pilots complete their checklists before engines are cleared for start-up.(U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- A B-52 Stratofrotress from the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., prepares for engine start-up March 14. The crew chiefs and pilots complete their checklists before engines are cleared for start-up.(U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- Senior Airman Kody Ealy, 69th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., re-attaches the bomb bay door actuators on a B-52 Stratofortress from the 69th EBS, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., March 14. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- Senior Airman Kody Ealy, 69th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., re-attaches the bomb bay door actuators on a B-52 Stratofortress from the 69th EBS, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., March 14. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- A member of the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., counts 'remove before flight' pins ensuring all are accounted for before takeoff, March 14 here. The pins are inserted at different points in the aircraft, making sure all areas are checked before and after each flight. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- A member of the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., counts 'remove before flight' pins ensuring all are accounted for before takeoff, March 14 here. The pins are inserted at different points in the aircraft, making sure all areas are checked before and after each flight. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- Capt. Ryan Harvey, 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron pilot from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., performs pre-flight inspections on the M117 general purpose bombs before taking off to a training range north of Andersen, March 14. Every weapon is to be inspected and checked for any damage or reasons it could not be deployed over the range during the training mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- Capt. Ryan Harvey, 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron pilot from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., performs pre-flight inspections on the M117 general purpose bombs before taking off to a training range north of Andersen, March 14. Every weapon is to be inspected and checked for any damage or reasons it could not be deployed over the range during the training mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- Airman 1st Class Justin Palmer, 69th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., marshals out a B-52 Stratofortress to taxi take-off, March 14. The B-52 along with two other B-52's will be completing a training mission north of Guam along with in-air refueling and radar scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- Airman 1st Class Justin Palmer, 69th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., marshals out a B-52 Stratofortress to taxi take-off, March 14. The B-52 along with two other B-52s will be completing a training mission north of Guam along with in-air refueling and radar scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam - A B-52 Stratofortress, "The Buff" of the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., lifts off with M117 air-dropped general purpose bombs, March 14 here. The bombs will be released over a training range north of Andersen. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam - A B-52 Stratofortress, "The Buff" of the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., lifts off with M117 air-dropped general purpose bombs, March 14 here. The bombs will be released over a training range north of Andersen. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- A B-52 Stratofortress from the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., connects for in-flight refueling with a KC-135 tanker during a training mission, March 15.(U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- A B-52 Stratofortress from the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., connects for in-flight refueling with a KC-135 tanker during a training mission, March 15.(U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- The engine throttles of a B-52 Stratofortress are tested after take-off to help ensure the mechanical life and stability of the engines are maintained, March 15 here. The pilots set the engines at different speeds and take the measurements on the panel, allowing them to see if the engines are performing at the same rates. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- The engine throttles of a B-52 Stratofortress are tested after take-off to help ensure the mechanical life and stability of the engines are maintained, March 15 here. The pilots set the engines at different speeds and take the measurements on the panel, allowing them to see if the engines are performing at the same rates. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- A B-52 Stratofortress from the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., performs the crab walk, March 15. The crab walk enables the B-52 to land in crosswinds with its landing gears straight while the aircraft is turning into the wind. The pilots test these capabilities before taking off to make sure everything works properly. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam- A B-52 Stratofortress from the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., performs the "crab walk," March 15. The "crab walk" enables the B-52 to land in crosswinds with its landing gears straight while the aircraft is turning into the wind. The pilots test these capabilities before taking off to make sure everything works properly. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam - A B-52 Stratofortress, "The Buff" of the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., releases M117 air-dropped general purpose conventional bombs onto a training range north of Andersen, March 16. The mission also included in-flight refueling, tactical maneuvers, and radar scenarios to test all aspects of the B-52s? capabilities.(U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)
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ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam - A B-52 Stratofortress, "The Buff" of the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., releases M117 air-dropped general purpose conventional bombs onto a training range north of Andersen, March 16. The mission also included in-flight refueling, tactical maneuvers, and radar scenarios to test all aspects of the B-52's capabilities.(U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam - -- Approximately 250 Airmen and six B-52 Stratofortress aircraft are preparing to pack up and head home after an action-packed, five-month deployment here.

Airmen from the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., began arriving in November 2010 in support of Andersen's continuous bomber presence; the unit will return to their home station in early April, passing the torch to members of the 96th Bomb Squadron from Barksdale AFB, L.A.

Andersen has hosted the CBP since 2003, when Pacific Air Forces began to routinely deploy B-1, B-2 and B-52 bomber aircraft to Guam on a rotational basis, demonstrating U.S. commitment to the region by providing a capable and prudent deterrent force.

A force to be reckoned with, the B-52 is a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber and has been in active service with the U.S. Air Force since 1955; the aircraft provide Team Andersen with a wealth of war-time capabilities and pinpoint accuracy.

"Along with an outstanding group of maintainers, operators and support personnel, we brought the most versatile bomber in the world to Andersen in support of the CBP mission," said Lt. Col. Michael Cardoza, 69th EBS commander. "Our team was ready to execute a wide variety of missions on a moment's notice, 24/7."

Capt. Paul Stucki, 69 EBS weapon and tactics flight commander, echoed his remarks.

"The unique skills and contributions the B-52 brings to the Andersen mission are many, but the biggest contribution would have to be in our global attack and precision engagement capability with stand-off weapons," he said. "The B-52 is capable of carrying large amounts of weapons and a lot of fuel. We can strike anywhere, anytime, with any weapon, and do it all with precision."

During their tour here, the 69 EBS had the opportunity to participate in unique training exercises and gain valuable experience in a joint environment.

"The 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron as a whole has participated in exercises in Hawaii, South Korea, Japan, Australia and here at Guam during exercise Cope North," Captain Stucki said. "We have integrated with Navy SEALS, coalition partners in Japan, Air Force Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from Camp Red Cloud, South Korea, and Hawaii, Range Control Operators in Australia and five separate KC-135 tanker units here at Guam. We have dropped over 700 weapons; we have flown over 1000 hours and have taken on over 1.9 million pounds of fuel during aerial refueling operations."

Though the operations tempo has been non-stop, 69 EBS Airmen will walk away with invaluable knowledge, and a new-found understanding of the bomber mission.

"The training and integration we received through exercises such as Cope North and Keen Sword are difficult to come by back home," Captain Stucki said. "Our conventional warfare skills have been honed and our nuclear readiness has been maintained. We are a young squadron with many of our aviators coming straight from the Flying Training Unit at Barksdale. This has been a great opportunity for them to experience the B-52 mission in its fullness during their first tour."

A milestone for the far-from-home squadron, Colonel Cardoza feels that the last several months have been time well spent.

"This was the first deployment for many of our aviators and maintainers," he said. "This was also the 69th Bomb Squadron's first-ever deployment. Seeing this new squadron grow in experience and ability, and watching it build its own identity and culture during this deployment was one of the best experiences of my Air Force career."

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Tomorrow (Jan 31st) CE Customer Service and both Andersen Family and Unaccompanied Housing Offices will be closed from 11 A.M.–4 P.M. For emergencies, please see additional information below: CE Customer Service: For any emergency issues, please call 366-2916/2917/2918. All other non-emergency issues can be sent to the CE Customer Service email org box at 36ces.service@us.af.mil. Housing Office: For any urgent Housing matters, please call 366-6240 or 653-4731. Normal operating hours will resume Monday, 3 February. Thank you, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron
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