Charleston Airlifters Deploy

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Aviation Calendar 2009

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More than 140 Airmen from the 16th Airlift Squadron and the 437th Operations Support Squadron deployed to Southwest Asia from Charleston AFB Dec. 29 as part of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

For this deployment, the entire squadron is deploying to a single base where they will fly and manage missions in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. The 16 AS will take control of the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron from the 15th Airlift Squadron based out of Charleston AFB, who will be returning home next month.

“I am excited,” said Maj. Todd McCoy, 437th Operations Group assistant director of operations. “We have trained for almost a year and are now ready to go out and do the mission.”

The 16 AS will be transporting service members and supplies in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. They will also fly aeromedical evacuation missions.

This deployment marks the eighth time an entire C-17 squadron will deploy for an operation.

For some Airmen, this will be their first time deploying and leaving loved ones behind. Over the past ninety days they had a pre-deployment checklist to complete and a cluster of classes to take in order to prepare for their deployment.

“I feel well prepared,” said Airman 1st Class Thomas Farmer, 437th Operations Support Squadron. “The classes package the information really well.”
Positive reinforcement throughout the squadron has brought high morale to Airmen getting ready to deploy.

“It is almost overwhelming how supportive people have been from the First Sergeant to the spouses,” said Airman Farmer. “Now we can all get on that plane together and do our job.”

Ian Hochlaender


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