HomeMediaArticle Display

168th Airmen head south for the winter

U.S. Air Force Airmen, assigned to the 168th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard, out-process for a deployment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Nov. 14, 2019, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Over the next six months, more than 70 Airmen from Alaska’s interior Air National Guard unit will deploy to Guam as part of Pacific Air Forces’ Theater Security Package, supporting daily KC-135R refueling and maintenance operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mann)

U.S. Air Force Airmen, assigned to the 168th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard, out-process for a deployment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Nov. 14, 2019, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Over the next six months, more than 70 Airmen from Alaska’s interior Air National Guard unit will deploy to Guam as part of Pacific Air Forces’ Theater Security Package, supporting daily KC-135R refueling and maintenance operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mann)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Approximately 19 Airmen assigned to the 168th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard, ventured out of Alaska’s below freezing temperatures en route to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and its 80-degree days.

Each year, Airmen from the 168th Wing deploy to Guam in support of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s Theater Security Package and Continuous Bomber Presence, supporting daily KC-135R Stratotanker refueling and maintenance operations.

Over the next six months, more than 70 aircrew, maintenance and support personnel from the wing will spend time in the U.S. territory, often forward deploying to other countries in the region.

In addition to the support mission these Airmen provide, the deployment also presents training and mission challenges that are not seen in Alaska’s subarctic region.

“Navigation over different parts of the Pacific Ocean, differing climates, working with foreign embassies and foreign customs officials are all things we experience during this deployment,” said Master Sgt. Christian Willey, 168th Air Refueling Squadron.

Traveling to foreign nations around that part of the globe presents both logistical and technical challenges for the aircrew and maintenance Airmen. Some of the locales are less than austere, some lack the proper facilities for working on the aircraft, but all provide new opportunities for wing Airmen.

“You never know what type of facility you’ll be working out of or who you are going to be working alongside,” said Chief Master Sgt. Gary Critchfield, component maintenance flight chief, 168th Maintenance Squadron,. “But this is great training and experience for everyone who participates.”

The first group of replacements will arrive in mid-December, with subsequent rotations taking place about every 30 days.

Contact Us

ANG Public Affairs does not act as an operator service. They do not have the capability to redirect incoming calls to other offices. Please contact the base operator for these services. For a RECRUITER click HERE

Base Operator 301-981-1110

ANG Public Affairs
3500 Fetchet Avenue
Joint Base Andrews, MD 20762
(240) 612-9494

NGB Press Desk
703-601-6767

NGB Press Desk After-Hours
703-627-7273
ngbpa.oncall@mail.mil