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Senior master sergeant takes 31st trip to Guam

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jennifer Redente
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
A number of Airmen deployed here can say they have been to Andersen Air Force Base a handful of times before, but it is seldom heard of an Airman who's been to Andersen more than 15 times. But for one senior master sergeant, he's more than doubled that number of trips here. 

Over 11 years, Senior Master Sgt. Carl Paskey has visited Guam 31 times. His trips have ranged from four-day typhoon evacuations to four-month deployments supporting U.S. Pacific Command's Continuous Bomber Presence operations. 

While the majority of the deployments were routine in nature, Sergeant Paskey said the experiences from a few stand out above the rest. 

"The base has changed tremendously over the years," said Sergeant Paskey, 96th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit lead production superintendent. "Tarague Beach has made a few improvements between typhoons and general upgrades. Since my last trip in 2004, there is a new base exchange and shoppette. The golf course is new with renovations to the club house, which used to be the officers club." 

He has also seen the changes in sleeping quarters for visiting Airmen. 

"When I first came here, we stayed at Andersen South," he said. "The dorms were added later on, and just recently, they opened up old [Temporary Living Facility] housing." 

The Orwell, Ohio, native said Andersen hasn't been the only area on Guam to transform. 

Sergeant Paskey said the Tumon area has grown as well with the closing of Game Works, the opening of Hard Rock Café, and the current construction going on too. 

Between 1991 and 1992, Sergeant Paskey was in Guam 22 times for typhoon evacuations and temporary duty assignments. 

Sergeant Paskey first arrived in Guam in 1991 as a buck sergeant assigned to Kadena Air Base, Japan, where he served as an aerospace propulsion craftsman. By 1992, he had served in three different Kadena squadrons: the 376th Organizational Maintenance Squadron, the 909th Air Refueling Squadron and the 82nd Reconnaissance Squadron.
During that time, he helped evacuate aircraft on three different occasions to Andersen AFB. Evacuated Kadena air frames included the RC-135 Rivet Joint and KC-135 Stratotanker. 

"Those [visits] usually lasted four-to-five days," he said. "For most aircraft, if winds exceed 69 knots, the aircraft must be protected by hangars or evac'd out." 

While the senior master sergeant helped with typhoon evacuations from Kadena to here, he also assisted in typhoon evacuations from Andersen to other locations. 

In 2004, Sergeant Paskey assisted pilots deployed here as the 20th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron in evacuating six aircraft from Andersen to Fairchild AFB, Wash.
Maj. Chad Bigelow, 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron training flight commander at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., was one of the pilots who flew from here to Washington. 

"We had to get all the B-52s out while still maintaining a combat posture supporting Pacific Command," Major Bigelow said. "All of the aircraft were evac'd within one day, and they made it to and from Fairchild safely. 

"I've been a part of two different airframes and seven different squadrons, and never met an NCO as professional as Sergeant Paskey," Major Bigelow continued. "He'll look you in the eye and tell you it's good to go, and you don't have a doubt in your mind that the plane is ready. It's great to have a guy like Sergeant Paskey on your maintenance team." 

Aside from typhoon evacuations, Sergeant Paskey said two missions he supported stood out above the rest. 

Prior to March 2004, bombers would periodically deploy to Andersen, but U.S. Pacific Command soon stood up the Continuous Bomber Presence mission at Andersen Air Force Base to support stability in the Asia-Pacific region. 

"Since the Continuous Bomber Presence began, 99 percent of the exercises have stayed the same," Sergeant Paskey said. 

The exercises and training missions the deployed bombers participate in vary in purpose and locations, but Sergeant Paskey oversees the aircrafts' maintenance to ensure the aircraft can execute long-duration flights from here to locations such as Alaska and Australia. 

During his first deployment here after the Continuous Bomber Presence was stood up to help maintain stability and security in the Western Pacific, the bombers were tasked with a distinctive mission in November 2004. 

"There was a unique tasking to sink a decommissioned naval ship," Sergeant Paskey said. "It was a 20-hour sortie to hit the ship with two bombs and then come back." 

The ship was the former U.S.S. Schenectady, which was decommissioned in 1993.
According to the U.S.S. Schenectady Web site, the mission is known as Operation Resultant Fury, which was "established to demonstrate weapons system capabilities and demonstrate technologies against multiple moving targets." 

The B-52s, which Sergeant Paskey oversaw the maintenance on, worked jointly with two Air ForceE-8 Joint Surveillance Tracking and Target Attack Radar System aircraft, an Air Force E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, two Navy F/A-18 Hornets, and a Navy P-3 Orion. 

The ship was sunk more than 50 nautical miles off the shores of Hawaii, according to the U.S.S. Schenectady Web site. 

"We worked more than 10 hours prepping the aircraft for a practice run the first day [when] it flew an 18-hour sortie, then two days later we prepped the aircraft again for [another] 18-hour sortie," Sergeant Paskey said. 

Staff Sgt. Brian Studer, 96th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit support technician, was also deployed with Sergeant Paskey in 2004. The two have been deployed together on a few occasions here and in Diego Garcia. 

"I've known Sergeant Paskey since he was a staff sergeant in 1997," Sergeant Studer said. "That was when I first arrived to Barksdale AFB." 

Sergeant Studer said he has enjoyed working with Sergeant Paskey. 

"He's the most personable senior NCO I know," he said. "He has exceptional leadership skills, and I would be proud to have him as a chief." 

In addition to Sergeant Paskey supporting the Continuous Bomber Presence and typhoon evacuations in Guam, he has also been prepositioned here during Global Power exercises, as well as transited through Guam to showcase a missile in South Korea. 

"Showcasing the missile in Korea and sinking the ship near Hawaii were the most interesting of all the trips here," he said. "It's not everyday you support an aircraft that drops two bombs on a decommissioned U.S. naval ship, or takes a missile to Korea." 

The senior master sergeant has seen many changes to Andersen during his visits over the years, to include new facilities and a variety of new missions, but Sergeant Paskey anticipates this is his last trip to Guam. 

He said he hopes to take in as much of the island culture before returning to Barksdale in October, as he prepares for his next assignment at Air Force Global Strike Command headquarters at Barksdale AFB. 

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