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Reserve Airmen complete deployment to Guam

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ryan Whitney
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
More than 110 Airmen and four KC-135 Stratotankers from Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind., completed a four-month deployment May 1 to Andersen Air Force Base.

The Airmen formed the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron to support Pacific refueling operations.

KC-135s have been routinely deployed here for many years to provide refueling support to units throughout the Pacific, primarily deployed continuous bomber presence and theater security packages.

While deployed here, the Airmen of the 434th Air Refueling Wing supported more than 10 exercises, including Cope North, a bilateral exercise between U.S. and Japan, and Jungle Shield, a homeland defense exercise in Guam.

"The operations tempo here was very high, with lots of higher headquarters directed missions, but the unit really pulled together to make this one of the best deployments to Andersen that I have been on," said Lt. Col. Laen August, the 506th EARS commander.

The colonel has deployed here a total of four times since 2001. This was the first time, though, that he was here for more than three weeks. This was also the first time that a Reserve unit had supported Pacific refueling operations since 2006.

"One of our biggest keys to success that I would pass on to the next unit is to integrate as deeply as you can into the various units you support and get the face-to-face time with the next (continuous bomber presence and theater security package units)," Colonel August said.

During the deployment, two self-sustaining teams of more than 100 Airmen deployed for 60 days each, to provide deployed units a level of continuity they don't get with other tanker units that deploy new teams every two weeks, he said.

While deployed here, the 434th ARW flew more than 160 missions, supplying more than 8 million pounds of fuel to multiple airframes, including F-16 Fighting Falcons, B-52 Stratofortresses, F-22 Raptors and B-2 Spirits.

"The support we received from the (434th ARW) during our deployment was phenomenal. They really helped the 90th (Expeditionary Fighter Squadron's) deployment be a success," said Lt. Col. Orlando Sanchez, the 90th EFS commander.

The 90th EFS is an F-22 squadron that was deployed here for three months.

More than 100 Airmen and four KC-135 Stratotankers from the 452nd Air Mobility Wing from March Air Reserve Base, Calif., are scheduled to assume Pacific refueling operations in support of the regions continuous bomber presence and theater security packages.