Tuesday, March 3, 2009

74th EFS deploys to Bagram for Operation Enduring Freedom

by Joachim Jacob

Yesterday, on Moody's public website, a photo essay Moody Airmen deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom was released. This official USAF info confirms that the 75th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron will be eventual replaced by the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. And as anticipated, 23rd Wing and 23rd Fighter Group will only change personnel, but no aircraft.

The 75th EFS deployed as part of USAF's AEF 5/6 (Cycle 7) rotation (September - December 2008). The original aircraft package of probably 12 A-10Cs left Moody AFB, Georgia, on September 8th, 2008. After the A-10 groundings, at least four additional Moody A-10Cs were deployed to Bagram AB as replacements.

See: During the Phase I portion we deployed over 300 personnel, 300+ tons of cargo, four real-world A-10C Thunderbolt II aircrafts for Operation Enduring Freedom, and one real-world HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter to support the Space Shuttle launch.

The 74th EFS should be deployed for the rest of USAF's ongoing AEF 7/8 (Cycle 7) rotation (January - April 2009).


Members of the 23rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron prepare to process through the mobility line at Moody AFB, Georgia, on February 26th, 2009. The 23rd AMXS is deploying to assist and support the 74th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Gina Chiaverotti)

Airmen from the 74th Aircraft Maintenance Unit board a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 for their departure to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, at Moody AFB, Georgia, on February 26th, 2009. About 300 Airmen from the 74th AMU deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Joshua Green)

Staff Sgt. Joe Stanchak, 23rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, air transportation instructor, supervises augmentees as they load mobility bags onto a New Generation Small Loader before they are uploaded to a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 aircraft in support of a deployment at Moody AFB on February 26th, 2009. Members from the 23rd LRS provide crucial support during deployments and redeployments at Moody. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Gina Chiaverotti)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Staff Sgt. Ryan O'Neil, 23rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, weapons loader crew team chief, is interviewed by Matt Flumerfelt, a writer with the Valdosta Daily Times, before his deployment Feb. 26 here. Sergeant O'Neil has been a weapons loader primarily for the A-10 weapons system for nine years and this will be his first deployment from Moody. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Javier Cruz Jr.)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- 1st Lt. Charles Merrell, 74th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, assistant officer in charge, speaks with a local news anchor about his thoughts on his upcoming deployment here Feb. 26. Lieutenant Merrell is one of approximately 300 Moody Airmen who is scheduled to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Javier Cruz Jr.

See also:
A-10 unit reaches 10,000 hour milestone

Related U.S. news media coverage:

The Valdosta Daily Times

Published February 26, 2009 11:37 pm -

300 from Moody deployed

By Matt Flumerfelt

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE — Three hundred men and women from Moody Air Force Base deployed to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan Thursday.

Most of those deploying are from the 23rd Maintenance Group, although airmen from the 23rd Fighter Group and 23rd Mission Support Group deployed also, said Lt. Chelsey Garrison, public information officer for Moody.

Airmen began processing around 11 a.m. Thursday. After a predeployment screening, they went through the Mobility Bank for last-minute equipment checks and to get their field kits, Garrison said. From the Mobility Bank, they went to the Deployment Center, where they were checked by medical, financial, and other services to ensure all their vaccinations, finances, and other arrangements were in order.

Garrison said 74th Fighter Squadron personnel will be providing air-to-ground support for troops. The Maintenance Group will be maintaining aircraft and loading ammunition, and the Mission Support Group will be doing logistics, which includes everything from loading planes and administrative functions to packing palettes and performing other support activities that enable missions to be carried out.

Once the airmen go through processing, Garrison said they are briefed on things like where they are going, what the conditions are there, what to expect, and perhaps given a pep talk by one of their commanding officers. From there, the airmen went to the base theater to await departure. Their plane was scheduled to complete loading around 7:10 p.m. with departure set for around 8 p.m.

This is the fourth deployment for Ryan Oneill, a weapons load crew team chief who said, "I feel good. I actually like deploying. Being a weapons loader, it's the only time I get to load live bombs. It's a little bit of job satisfaction to see the jets come back empty. You can only practice so long before you want to get in the game."

Oneill said he leads a crew that loads bombs on A-10 and F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft.

Bryan Taggart, also a weapons load crew team chief, said he and Oneill are golfing buddies.

"When it's time to go, it's time to go. That's what you signed up for," he said. "It'll be nice to see something different."

It's the first deployment for Charles Merrell, an officer in charge with the 74th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. Merrell said he was "ready to go, ready to get there, ready to do my job."

When asked if he had received any advice from those who had been deployed to Afghanistan before, he said, "Yeah, they say, 'Travel light. You won't need it.'"

For the most part, the airmen will be performing the same types of jobs they trained for at Moody, said Lt. Col. Lisa Spivey, who is assigned to Moody's public information office.

Capt. James Satchell said, "Moody's men and women are always ready to answer the nation's call. Of course, it's always difficult to leave their families. Our role is to make sure the base is always ready to deploy. Our job is to deploy often."

As far as where the troops are going or what they'll be doing, Satchell said, "They may be headed to various locations, so I can't say. When these airmen deploy, we miss their presence here. We appreciate the support of this community and ask you to keep our folks in your thoughts and prayers."

Bagram Air Base is located in the Parvan Province, southeast of the city of Charikar and north of Kabul, according to information found on the Internet.


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