By Air Force 2nd Lt. Jenna Lenski, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar, Dec. 26, 2017 — “I'm thrilled to bring season's greetings on behalf of the first lady and our entire family and most importantly on behalf of the American people," President Donald J. Trump said over video conference to deployed service members on Christmas Eve.
Airmen from the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron deployed here, took part in a holiday conference call with the president Dec. 24.
U.S. service members from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard also joined in the video conference with Trump, who called from Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
Thanking Service Members
Trump arranged the conference call with deployed units from all the branches of the military to recognize their contributions to the fight and thank them for their service, especially during the holidays.
“Having the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron be selected to receive a morale phone call from the President of the United States is a true Christmas gift and a real honor,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Goossen, the 69th’s commander. “We feel fortunate to represent all Air Force deployed personnel and we are humbled to have the opportunity out of so many deserving units.”
Fifteen airmen from the squadron, which is deployed from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, sat in on the call with the president. The group was comprised of aircrew members, maintainers and senior leaders.
The 69 EBS was selected out of several different deployed units to represent the Air Force on the prestigious call because of their many accomplishments while serving here.
Flying and maintaining the B-52 Stratofortress bomber, the 69 EBS has successfully engaged over 700 Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and Taliban targets in five separate countries, uploaded and released over 1.5 million pounds of munitions, and received over 26 million pounds of fuel via in-flight refueling from U.S. and coalition aircraft.
“Every American heart is thankful to you and we are asking God to watch over you and to watch over your families,” Trump told the service members.
The deployed military units shared their holiday greetings and were able to ask the president questions about current and future operations.
“Getting a chance to hear President Trump discuss some of our top issues was an exhilarating experience. The 69th EBS wishes the president, his family, his staff and all Americans back home a very Merry Christmas,” Goossen said.