NEWS | May 23, 2019

140th Wing deploys to Afghanistan in support of NATO and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel

By Capt. Cheresa Clark Buckley Air Force Base

The Colorado Air National Guard’s 140th Wing based at Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, Colorado, deployed more than 300 Airmen to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and the NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.

Colorado Airmen will fly and maintain F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft in cooperation with coalition partners assigned to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram Airfield.

Their mission is to promote efforts to strengthen Afghan security forces, including the Afghan Air Force, and build partnership capacity with Afghan military members, through combat air support for U.S. and coalition ground forces.

“We’ve trained side by side with our coalition partners numerous times, and now we’ll be putting that training to use to help our Afghan partners,” COANG 140th Wing Commander U.S. Air Force Col. Brian Turner said. “There is no better way to maintain effective relationships with our allies than working side by side and using the skills necessary to support independent states.”

“Our partnerships are vital to the success of our mission,” Turner said. “The relationships we’ve developed with our coalition partners has created the foundational framework that everything else builds upon. Colorado’s men and women of the National Guard are working hard to make a difference for the Afghan people.”

Much of the 140th Wing will be deployed through mid-summer 2019, but a significant number will remain at BAFB to support the 24/7/365 Aerospace Control Alert mission, responding at a moment’s notice to any airborne threats in the central region of the United States. The COANG is also ready to respond to domestic emergencies where civil authorities require support.