Air Force News

Reserve aircraft, crews to support AEFs

Released: 25 Aug 1999

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AFPN) -- From the start, reservists and aircraft from Air Force Reserve Command will play an integral role in air operations in support of the Air Force's expeditionary aer ospace force.

Pilots from the 926th Fighter Wing, Naval Air Station New Orleans Joint Reserve Base, La., will fly four unit A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft to Southwest Asia in late August in support of Operation Southern Watch, the enforcement of the no-fly zone over southern Iraq. They will join A-10 pilots and aircraft from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, in the deployment, which will pre-position the A-10s for Aerospace Expeditionary Force 1, Oct. 1 to Nov. 30.

As the lead Reserve wing, the 926th FW will primarily support the first 30 days of AEF 1, and the 442nd FW, Whiteman AFB, Mo., will cover the second month. Six Reserve pilots, supported by aircraft maintainers, will be deployed at any given time during AEF 1 and will share aircraft and equipment with the active-duty unit as a "rainbow" organization.

"Our aircrews and aircraft maintainers are used to rainbow packages," said Lt. Col. John Woerly, Reserve EAF project officer. "The Reserve and Air National Guard have been sharing equipment and intermingling crews on deployments since the early 1990s."

Woerly said the aircraft will remain in place during the AEF deployment period, saving millions of dollars in aviation fuel, maintenance, and paychecks by avoiding repeated trans-Atlantic flights. At many deployment locations, supporting equipment will stay overseas for even longer periods. The Air Force will shift to a 90-day deployment schedule, starting with AEF 3 and 4.

Reserve participation will peak during AEF 8, involving nearly 20 aircraft, dozens of aircrews and supporting aircraft maintainers. Serving as the Reserve's lead fighter wing, the 419th FW, Hill AFB, Utah, will deploy eight F-16s to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, for Operation Northern Watch. Also supporting Northern Watch on a rotational basis are KC-135E's and aircrews from the 927th ARW, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., and the 940th ARW, Beale AFB, Calif.; and KC-135R's and aircrews from the 434th ARW, Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind. An E-3 crew from the 513th Air Control Group, Tinker AFB, Okla., will support Northern Watch for part of the 90-day period. Six C-130 airlift aircraft and crews will take part in Operation Joint Forge, military operations in part of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, during part of AEF 8.

KC-10 aircrews from the Reserve's 514th Air Mobility Wing, McGuire AFB, N.J., will provide air refueling for AEFs 1, 5 and 9, and the Reserve's 349th AMW, Travis AFB, Calif., will perform the same Operation Southern Watch job for AEFs 3 and 7.

Four KC-135R's, crews and support people from the 507th Air Refueling Wing, Tinker AFB; 916th ARW, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.; and 931st Air Refueling Group, McConnell AFB, Kan., will support Operation Deliberate Forge during AEF 3.

Three HH-60G helicopters, aircrews and aircraft maintainers from the 301st Rescue Squadron, Patrick AFB, Fla.; 304th RQS, Portland International Airport, Ore.; and 305th RQS, Davis Monthan AFB, Ariz., will participate in AEF 6. They will deploy to Incirlik AB to support Operation Northern Watch.

During AEF 10, an HC-130 aircraft, crew and crew chiefs from the 39th RQS, Patrick AFB, and 303rd RQS, Portland IAP, will deploy to Keflavik in support of the Defense of Iceland. All five rescue squadrons are part of the 939th Rescue Wing at Portland. Two B-52H's with two crews from the 917th Wing, Barksdale AFB, La., will pull alert duty at home station during AEF 7.

As part of AEF 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9, three to six Reserve C-130 airlift aircraft and four to eight crews along with aircraft maintainers will continue to deploy year round to Muniz ANG Base, Puerto Rico, in support of U.S. Southern Command's Operation Coronet Oak. (Courtesy of AFRC News Service)


* Air Force Reserve Command
* Air National Guard