The Colorado Air National Guard 140th Wing, based at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, has left its home to deploy to South Korea for approximately two months. Paul Filmer reports.
During the build-up to the fighters deploying, various freighters passed through, picking up equipment and routing to South Korea via Anchorage, Alaska.
These included an Atlas Air Boeing 747-400F, plus USAF C-17A and C-5M transporters. Support personnel were ferried on a Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-200.
The F-16s and pilots departed on 12 February, with their first stop being Hawaii. During its deployment to Korea, the 140th Wing’s F-16s will fly daily training missions whilst integrating with other USAF members.
“We are sending several of our jets and associated pilots, maintenance and support personnel as part of a routine theater security package to the Republic of Korea,” said Col. Floyd Dunstan, commander of the 140th Wing. “Not only are we gaining valuable training out of this deployment, we are also strengthening ties with our allies and fortifying our relationships with international partners.
“While it’s always hard for our members and their loved ones to be apart, this deployment offers unique training opportunities for our folks,” continued Dunstan. “Our presence there is a critical contribution to our global force capability; we will basically serve as a deterrent against potential threats to regional security and stability, while simultaneously enhancing our own capabilities to perform in a deployed, joint environment.”