The 122nd Fighter Wing, which flies the A-10 “Warthog” airframe, deployed about 300 airmen, or around a third of its members, overseas in early October to the U.S. Central Command region.
“I don’t know of a time in Blacksnake history we have taken this kind of aviation footprint forward,” said Col. Patrick R. Renwick, 122nd Fighter Wing Commander. “The A-10 “Warthog” is uniquely suited for the Combatant Commander’s needs, and the Blacksnakes are the right team to bring that capability to combat.”
The deployment is historic for its length and size relative to previous Air National Guard deployments, which in the past have ranged from 30 to 90 days. At the 122nd Fighter Wing, it is rare to have an airman gone longer than 120 days overseas. While it is common for the active duty Air Force to deploy a base overseas for an extended amount of time, the 122nd Fighter Wing is one of the only Air National Guard bases in history to take on a mission of this size and length.
“The Airmen of the 122nd Fighter Wing are trained and ready to answer our nation’s call to duty,” said Renwick. “The Air National Guard and the Blacksnakes are a proven choice in combat, I have no doubt we can accomplish any mission assigned!”
Airmen deployed have been through extensive preparation, ranging from cultural awareness to weapons qualification to medical training. These airmen will be carrying out the same job overseas that they have been training monthly for at the 122nd Fighter Wing as drill status guardsmen.
“I’m excited for our maintainers,” said Col. Craig E. Ash, 122nd Fighter Wing Maintenance Group Commander. “We have the best training, equipment and aircraft in the world; we’ve been preparing and training for this deployment for the past few months; and I am fully confident in our ability to deploy one of the country’s most lethal fighting forces to support and defend US efforts abroad.”
The 122nd Fighter Wing has had service members volunteer for deployments around the world since 9-11, to locations including Iraq, Afghanistan, Spain, Japan and within the United States among other locations.
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