69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron to continue Pacific presence
By Airman 1st Class Arielle Vasquez, 36th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 03, 2016
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam --
Airmen assigned to the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, to Andersen AFB, Guam to replace their sister unit, the 23rd EBS in support of the U.S. Pacific Command’s continuous bomber presence.
Since March 2004, Andersen AFB has hosted the CBP mission, which is designed to enhance regional security and provides reassurance to allies and partners that the United States is capable of defending its national security interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
“The main goal out here is to advance and strengthen alliances,” said Capt. Matthew Reoch, 23rd EBS pilot and resource adviser. “Our continual presence out here, showing commitment to our allies and having our aircraft ready is critical in showing that the U.S. is always prepared to respond to any threats that arise.”
The missions carried out in the Pacific region provide a different training environment and opportunities that differ greatly from Minot AFB.
“Andersen provides a great experience when it comes to training with joint and international partners,” said Capt. Erik Nelson, 23rd EBS B-52 Stratofortress aircraft commander. “Also, the key to performing missions to the best of our ability was to remain flexible throughout all the missions, especially those that were short notice. That kind of ingenuity and flexibility is crucial and all of our guys have the capacity to do that.”
While stationed here, the outbound aircrew and maintainers assigned to the 23rd EBS exceeded their flightline and training goals by logging 1,428 hours of flight time, performing more than 200 sorties and dropping over 300 munitions totaling 197,000 pounds.
The Airmen arriving from the 69th EBS will be stationed in Guam for the next six months to conduct CBP operations and training.
“The B-52 is a symbol and a strategic projection of power,” said Maj. Luke Dellenbach, 69th EBS assistant director of operations. “The training environment and airspace out here is great. There are a lot of individuals in the squadron that have not had the experience flying a long-range distance over oceanic waters, so this will be a great opportunity for them.”
In between flying missions, members from the 69th EBS hope to build good rapport and take an active role in the community while stationed on Guam through volunteering and partnership events, Dellenbach said.
The upcoming months present a unique opportunity for the 69th EBS in training and deployment experience in an environment unlike any found in the continental U.S.
“Knowing you're a part of these Pacific power projection missions, which help to shape the best interest of the U.S. and parts of the world, is very rewarding,” Dellenbach said. “It's a great opportunity to represent the 69th EBS and fly out to Andersen AFB to promote deterrence and assurance.”