Combat Airlifter - 440th Airlift Wing

pope.afrc.af.mil
  • No tags were found...

Combat Airlifter - 440th Airlift Wing

Deployment: 440 th Airlift Wing Deploys to AORBy Jerry Green, CMSgt (Ret)About 80 members of the 440th AirliftWing deployed in October toSouthwest Asia, marking the first majordeployment for the wing since theunit moved to Pope Air Force Base, N.C. Wing Airmen from the 440th MaintenanceSquadron and 95th AirliftSquadron are supporting OperationsIraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.For many Airmen in the 95th AS and440th MXS, this is a familiar process.They are returning to the AOR after athree-year absence. Alongside theseveterans are wing members who aredeploying for the first time and arelooking forward to duty in a differentenvironment.The first sergeant for the deploymentis 28-year Air Force Senior Master Sgt.Jeff Roeder, who has taken part inmultiple deployments in the past. SergeantRoeder, an Oshkosh, Wis., native,is ready for the challenges of overseeingthe many issues that arise duringlong deployments. In the past SergeantRoeder has dealt with the RedCross for family issues back home, andcoordinated emergency leave requestswhen necessary. He is an avid joggerwho hopes to find opportunities to getin extra running time at his deployedlocation.Many of the aircrew have flown in theAOR before and look forward to implementingthe procedures necessary tofly and operate safely in foreign lands.Lt. Col. John Smigla, an aircraft commanderwith the 95th AS, said themissions should not be viewed as businessas usual because each has itsown unique challenges.Wing Airmen have to update their personnelrecords and other documentsthat are necessary for deployment beforethey can leave. Shot records needto be current and if necessary, Airmencan get last-minute shots in the deploymentline. Proper documentationin the Defense Enrollment and EligibilityReporting System (DEERS) mustbe current, and emergency power ofattorney documents are all part of thecritical deployment process.For Lt. Col. Christian Bakogiannis,this was his first deployment processingline as commander of the MilitarySupport Flight. He remarked that eventhough there were a few minor problemsleading up to event, the deploymentprocess was smooth. His staffcompleted the required pre-deploymentsteps as part of a two-day processensuring the wing Airmen wereready to start their duties when theyarrived at the deployed location.Col. Merle D. Hart, 440th Airlift Wingcommander, Col. Willie Cooper, 440thMaintenance Group commander, andLt. Col. William Whittenberger, 440thOperations Group commander, bid thedeployed troops good-bye the morningof the departure. Colonel Hart shookeach deploying member’s hand andchallenged them to be safe in theirwork and speak well of others. ColonelCooper watched as his maintainerspacked their gear in the cargo compartmentand settled in for the fourdaytrip.Colonel Whittenberger said that he wasconfident that the crews were ready forthis deployment. The 95th AS crewswill be available for mission taskingwithin two days after arriving in theAOR.Several of the deployed Airmen will bereturning in early December as othersfrom the wing will be replacing them inthe AOR. The tasking for this deploymentends in late January 2009. Currently,there are about 80 wing Airmendeployed to the AOR. Appropriately,Colonel Hart’s last message to thetroops was, “Be safe, and come backwith all the fingers and toes you leftwith.”440 Airlift Wing, Pope AFB, Page 7

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines