FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017
CONTACT: Air Force Maj. Kinder Blacke
720-847-9558 / 720-670-7062
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Members of the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard return home Aug. 13 after serving as a Theater Security Package at Kadena Air Base, Japan, for the past three months.
"Our pilots and maintainers have proven themselves in combat multiple times," The Adjutant General of Colorado, Maj. Gen. Michael Loh said. "Their professionalism and excellence has been demonstrated once again."
While in Japan, the 140th Wing flew training missions in their F-16C fighter aircraft and integrated with other deployed U.S. military and allied forces in the region.
"The biggest 'win' on this deployment was the unprecedented level of integration," said Lt. Col. Christopher Southard, commander, 120th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.
In three months, the Colorado Air National Guard F-16 pilots flew with two U.S. F-15 squadrons, two Japanese F-15 squadrons, E-3 AWACS aircraft, air refueling tanker aircraft, Ground Control Intercept, Navy F-18 aircraft off of an aircraft carrier, B-1 Bomber aircraft, Marine Joint Tactical Aircraft Controllers and Special Operations Forces, explained Southard.
"All of this outstanding flying was enabled by the hard work of our aircraft maintainers," he said, "we truly worked as one big team."
Everyone missed their loved ones at home, but Southard explains that being deployed creates a common bond amongst the members of the wing. It also provides an invaluable training opportunity to the sixty percent of Guardsmen who are normally part-time.
"It is time for us all to get home, but we will return with new friendships and a better understanding of what we all do, both in the military and in civilian life," he said.
The 140th Wing will welcome the majority of its returning members on Sunday, August 13 at Buckley Air Force Base.
Since 1923, the "Redeyes" of the Colorado Air National Guard have served our country's overseas missions to include having deployed nine times since Sept. 11, 2001. These Guardsmen support and defend our nation completely voluntarily.
"The incredible professionalism and work ethic that I witnessed on a day-to-day basis during this, and every deployment is a testament to the quality folks we have in the Colorado Air National Guard," Southard concluded.
FOR ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: The majority of the deployed members will be returning to Buckley Air Force Base on Sunday, Aug. 13. If you would like to cover their arrival, please RSVP to Maj Kinder Blacke (email@example.com) in order to stay updated on the arrival time.
Tentatively, plan to arrive at the gate at E. Mississippi Ave and Aspen St. at 1 p.m. In order to clear security, please bring your driver's license, and proof of insurance and registration for your vehicle.
Family members and fellow Airmen will be present to welcome their loved ones back home. Interviews can be coordinated through the Public Affairs Officer.
Please contact Maj. Kinder Blacke, 140th Wing Public Affairs at 720-847-9558, or cell (720) 670-7062, firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.