Expeditionary Airmen talk live on radio show
By Master Sgt. Art Webb, 36th Operations Group Public Affairs
/ Published July 09, 2007
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Airmen from the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron were on a different mission July 3 when they visited a local radio station to discuss the B-52 Stratofortress and the bomber presence in the Pacific region.
Three aircrew members, who are deployed to Andersen in support of the continuous bomber presence mission, were interviewed by K-57 news talk radio show host Patti Arroyo. The interview centered on the squadron's mission, some facts about the B-52 Stratofortress and some personal questions regarding their July 4 celebration plans.
Capt. Daniel Willis, a radar navigator, was first on the microphone to respond to a question regarding the mission of the deployment of the B-52 to the Pacific region. "Our presence here is simple; to rotate here, be a deterrent, to train with our regional partners and operate in this part of the region."
The U.S. routinely rotates bomb squadrons into Andersen to show our dedication and commitment to the Western Pacific. Rotational squadrons usually consist of the B-52 Stratafortress, B-1B Lancer and B-2 Spirit. During the deployments, bomb squadrons participate in numerous exercises and training scenarios. "This deployment also gives us an opportunity train on things we wouldn't be able to get stateside. We get to work with different aircraft that we don't get to work with at Barksdale", Capt. Willis added.
First Lt. Tiffany Bares, an electronic warfare officer, explained some characteristics of the B-52 and lauded the great durability and long range flexibility the 46-year-old aircraft brings to the fight. "We can carry an assortment of weapons," she said of the aircraft. "The technological advances which have been added to the aircraft also make it lethal in combat."
While the aircraft still uses some old technology it is still considered as one of the most efficient aircraft in the Air Force inventory. "It takes pilot skills to fly this aircraft. It's very challenging to take off, land and fly this aircraft," said 1st Lt. Jacob Wilwert, co-pilot of the aircraft. The aircraft still uses 1960s technology, but is still reliable when it comes to delivering bombs on target, he added on.
The aircrew then explained some of the reasons for joining the military. "I entered the Air Force when I was 18. I used to work on F-16s and then I got commissioned," said Lieutenant Bares. "I have always been interested in flying, and my family has encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do. This is one of the best decisions I've made in my life."
"I am proud to be in one of the most flexible and most trusted aircraft in the Air Force's inventory, said Captain Willis. "It brings a lot to the fight. This plane carries the widest array of munitions. It can also still get bombs on target and on time."
When asked about Independence Day celebration plans, Captain Willis quickly fired back with his plans for this year's celebration. "My plan is to go the beach and enjoy a well-deserved day to relax." Lieutenant Wilwert said his plans were to also go to the beach and grill some food.
Pacific Air Forces continues to routinely deploy bombers to Andersen providing the U.S. Pacific Command commander a continuous bomber presence in the region.
Movement of U.S. Air Force bombers into the Western Pacific has been ongoing since March 2004 as the Pacific Command adjusts its force posture to maintain a prudent deterrent capability.
Rotational bomber deployments to Guam help maintain stability and security in the Western Pacific, while allowing units to become familiar with operation in the Pacific theater.