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MacDill undergoes deployment

by Airman 1st Class Andrea Thacker
Thunderbolt editor

Photo by: Airman 1st Class Andrea Thacker
Capt. Mike Develle, 91st Air Refueling Squadron, reaches out the cockpit window of a KC-135 Stratotanker to remove the Pitot Tube cover.

Almost 150 airmen, along with KC-135 Stratotankers, left here for forward-deployed locations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The 6th Air Mobility Wing deployed as part of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's deployment order, which directed additional forces to support Operation Enduring Freedom and possible future contingencies.

"We received great support from everyone to launch our aircraft for this deployment," said Col. Mark Meyers, 6th AMW vice commander.

Members from every squadron did their part to support the deployment or deploy themselves. The first wave of deploying members departed MacDill under the cover of darkness Feb. 20. The rest was locked and loaded when the planes took off.

"The crews are more than prepared," said Lt. Col. Rodger Watkins, 91st Air Refueling Squadron commander. "They have been training hard over the last few months to prepare for deployment. Their departure is the capstone to complete this deployment."

The deployment of MacDill's troops and aircraft allows the Air Force to bring speed, agility and precision to rapidly meet military objectives worldwide. The long-range capabilities of the KC-135 support the global attack and precision engagement needed to respond around the world on a moment's notice. This deployment helps provide national leaders with the unmatched ability to take early, rapid and decisive action in combat operations.




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