Into the Wild Blue Yonder: Nevada “High Rollers” deploy overseas this holiday season

  • Published
  • By Airman First Class Thomas Cox
  • 152nd Airlift Wing

Members of the 152nd Airlift Wing, Nevada Air National Guard, will be spending this holiday season overseas as they deployed earlier this week as part of the guard’s federal mission requirements.

Aircrew, maintainers and logistics readiness squadron Airmen will provide theater airlift and aerial delivery throughout the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Area of Responsibility (AOR) for about four months, the unit’s first Air Expeditionary Force deployment since 2018.

“I am proud and inspired by all the Airmen deploying overseas this holiday season,” said Col. Jeremy Ford, 152nd Airlift Wing commander. “With the challenges thrown at us over the historical last few years including the COVID-19 pandemic and two record setting wildfire firefighting seasons, this is just another example of how dedicated these Airmen are and how necessary the National Guard is.”

Leaving loved ones during this time of year yielded no shortfall of hugs, kisses and tears as the Airmen prepared to depart.

A reception put on by Fred Barton, the base’s Airman and Family programs manager, Key Spouses and services was held for families, friends and loved ones at the base before those deploying boarded their plane.

“Although we consistently train to maintain a certain level of readiness to meet state and federal mission requirements, there was a lot of additional effort necessary to ensure this deployment kicked off without any issues,” said Ford. “Those efforts required support from across our entire wing and also from family and loved ones of our Airmen, truly a team effort.”

Utilizing the C-130 Hercules aircraft, the Airmen will be able to provide theater airlift and aerial delivery of personnel, equipment, vehicles, or any other palletized cargo throughout the AFRICOM AOR.

For more than half of the maintainers that ensure that the aircraft stay mission ready, this will mark their first deployment overseas with the unit.

“I am confident this force of ready, professional Airmen will carry out the mission above all expectations asked of them, they are truly the best that this nation has to offer,” said Ford.

“The safety, support and well-being of our deploying members and their families is our main priority,” said Ford. “We wish them all a safe and successful deployment and can’t wait to see them all return home.”