111th Attack Wing personnel return from supporting overseas operations

  • Published
  • By Jon Dahms
  • 111th Attack Wing

BIDDLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Pa. -- The 111th Attack Wing here welcomed home 33 personnel last week who were serving in support of overseas operations in the Middle East and Africa for more than six months.

Twenty-one personnel assigned to the 270th Engineering Installation Squadron, a subordinate unit of the 111th ATKW, returned in July and August 2022 from the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility after supporting U.S. Air Forces Central in Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Another 11 personnel assigned to the 270th EIS returned from supporting operations in the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility. These 111th ATKW airmen started at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the headquarters for U.S. Air Forces in Europe / Air Forces Africa, and then forward deployed to support operations in Niger, Djibouti and Kenya.

One member of the 111th Civil Engineering Squadron, another subordinate unit of the 111th ATKW, was welcomed home from her deployment to Jordan where she supported USAF Central.

"I want to welcome our wingmen back from their deployments in support of operations in the U.S. Central Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility,” said Col. Dean E. Thomey, Commander, 111th Attack Wing. "Providing trained and ready units and airmen to support our combatant commanders is a key focus of our training and the primary reason our wing exists. Thank you for representing us well and a special thanks to your families for enduring your absence and supporting you throughout your deployment, and to your civilian employers and local communities for supporting our Airmen while they serve our country."

The mission of the 270th EIS is to provide specialized cyber engineering resources and support assets to accomplish engineering and installation of command and control systems, communications, computers, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance infrastructures and airfield systems for the Department of Defense, the U.S. Air Force and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The personnel returning from this deployment worked in related fields and shared their technical and professional expertise while working in the USAFRICOM and USCENTCOM areas of responsibility.

All programs and services of the 111th Attack Wing were mobilized to prepare these airmen for their deployment, and to provide a smooth transition upon their return. A familiar face was there to see them off at the start of their tour of duty, and to help facilitate their homecoming.

“I was the enlisted unit deployment manager when these members left for deployment and I promised them I would be there when they got home,” said 2nd Lt. Michele A. Hreso, Installation Deployment Officer for the 111th ATKW. “I left for officer training and this is the first group I am overseeing the arrival and in-processing and welcome home to their families.”

Personnel deployed to the USAFRICOM AOR assisted the full-spectrum combatant command responsible for all U.S. Department of Defense operations, exercises, and security cooperation on the African continent, its island nations, and surrounding waters.

Those deployed to the USCENTCOM AOR were supporting a combatant command that directs and enables military operations and activities with allies and partners to increase regional security and stability while promoting U.S. interests across the Middle East in the “central area” between U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

“This past week was definitely the best part about my new position as an officer,” Hreso said. “My goal was to make sure they are aware of all the services available to ensure their in-processing back home is complete, efficient and painless.”