Military News

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Airmen return home from six-month deployment

by Airman 1st Class Mozer O. Da Cunha
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

8/25/2015 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Airmen from the 20th Bomb Squadron here, returned home Aug. 24, following a six-month deployment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in support of Continuous Bomber Presence operations.

Air Force Global Strike Command's deployment of long-range heavy bombers to Andersen AFB, demonstrates the command's ability to deter enemies and assure allies, exemplifying their commitment to providing global vigilance, reach and power.

"This deployment was unique because it showed us the bigger picture of why we are such a vital element to the pacific theater of operations and how we are able to help with maintaining the balance of power in the Pacific region in addition to assisting our friends and allies in that area of operations." said Maj. Joe Foster, 20th BS assistant director of operations.

Airmen train year-round to become experts in their career fields.

"At home station, we train, prepare, test and evaluate ourselves, because when we deploy it gives us the ability to show the world how prepared we are and what we are made of," said Foster of his third deployment.

Barksdale's Airmen participated in a variety of exercises while deployed.

"We worked together with all agencies that comprise the 36th Wing as well as international units and other services," Foster said. "It was a total joint international effort to support the Continuous Bomber Presence mission in the region."

Airmen get the opportunity to get to know their brothers- and sisters-in-arms more closely through their close living quarters over the course of the six-month deployment.

"Being in close quarters with the same group of people for an extended period of time gives you an opportunity to get to know the guys," said Staff Sgt. Trevor Stackpole, 2nd Munitions Squadron storage crew chief. "Living together like that you work together, learn each other's likes and dislikes and find common ground we share."

Now that the Airmen accomplished their part of the mission, it was their time to reconnect with families and friends.

"Now that I'm back. what I'm looking forward to the most is spending time with my fiancé," said Stackpole. "Between moving to our new apartment and planning our wedding, we will have plenty to do. I'm just happy to be back."

With the 20th BS now home, the 23rd BS, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, takes its turn in the rotation to Guam, supporting AFGSC's continuous commitment to nuclear deterrence and assurance. As they will be back before they know it, the 20th BS will continue to perfect their skills for when they are called upon again.

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