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General returns to PACAF for Air Force Week celebration

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Brian Bahret
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
More than a year after leaving his position as the vice commander of the Pacific Air Force, Lt. Gen. David Deptula, said he is still impressed with the relationship Andersen and Guam have maintained over the years.

General Deptula, who now works at the Pentagon as the deputy chief of staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., is returning to Andersen as the guest speaker for the Air Force 60th Anniversary Ball Saturday.

The event marks the end to Guam's Air Force Week and honors the contributions of the men and women who have served in the Air Force since Sept. 18, 1947.

"Every time I visit Guam I am impressed by the dedication of the men and women that live and serve here," said General Deptula.

He said the Air Force has enjoyed its relationship with the island community.

"The Air Force has always had a fantastic relationship with Guam," said the 33-year Air Force veteran. "We've been fortunate to have not only a huge airfield like Andersen, but more importantly great partners and friends in the people of Guam." 

While serving simultaneously at Hickam as the vice commander of PACAF and the commander of the Kenney Warfighting Headquarters, he said it was always comforting to know the Air Force could rely on Andersen and the entire Guam community to support the military's efforts in the Pacific theater. 

He said that it's because of the support from the local community and the dedication of the service members that Andersen's mission is so effective.

"This is not just a deterrent to potential adversaries, but also enables theater engagement operations, including relief operations, and exercises with our friends and allies in the Pacific," he said.

"One of the greatest benefits of the U.S. posture on Guam is the tremendous flexibility Andersen provides," he said.  "Take the 2005 massive tsunami relief effort in Indonesia and neighboring countries. Being able to reach out, anywhere in the Pacific, to alleviate human suffering, is tremendous. It engenders a great deal of goodwill and credibility in the region." 

He said that in his current job, he continues to benefit from his PACAF experience.

"I continue to take solace in knowing that we can count on Guam to support our efforts to secure peace and stability in the Pacific," he said.

Currently, General Deptula is responsible to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force for policy formulation, planning, evaluation, oversight, and leadership of Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. As the Air Force's senior official of the intelligence community he is directly responsible to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

Before his assignment to the Pentagon, General Deptula was the commander of the General George C. Kenney Warfighting Headquarters, and vice commander, PACAFs, Hickam AFB, Hawaii, from September 2005 to July 2006.

General Deptula completed ROTC at the University of Virginia as a distinguished graduate in 1974, and remained to complete a master's degree in 1976. Since earning his wings in 1977, he has flown more than 3,000 hours (400 in combat) to include multiple operational fighter command assignments. He has taken part in operations, planning, and joint warfighting at unit, major command, service headquarters and combatant command levels. He has served on two congressional commissions charged with outlining America's future defense posture -- the Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces, and the National Defense Panel. 

General Deptula has significant experience in combat and leadership in several major joint contingency operations. He was the principal attack planner for the Desert Storm coalition air campaign in 1991. He has twice been a Joint Task Force Commander - in 1998/1999 for Operation Northern Watch during a period of renewed Iraqi aggression where he flew 82 combat missions, and for Operation Deep Freeze, supporting forces in Antarctica. In 2001, the general served as Director of the Combined Air Operations Center for Operation Enduring Freedom, where he orchestrated air operations over Afghanistan during the period of decisive combat. In 2005, he was the Joint Force Air Component commander for Operation Unified Assistance, the South Asia tsunami relief effort, and in 2006 he was the standing Joint Force Air Component commander for Pacific Command.

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