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Wing successfully redeploys Airmen before 406th AEW activation

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Miquel Jordan
  • 406th Air Expeditionary Wing

The 435th Air Expeditionary Wing’s staff agencies successfully redeployed U.S. Air Force members from various U.S. Africa Command locations back to their home stations and deployed their replacements for change over, for their summer rotations before transitioning into the 406th Air Expeditionary Wing.

Recently, many high-priority missions and events in Africa and Europe, has made it difficult for the 435th AEW’s Logistic Operations Cell to schedule flight transportation during the wing’s bi-annual Relief-in-Place/Transfer of Authority into and out of the African continent.

Many rotational members leaving the continent are Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Component members on Title 10 Mobilization orders, deployed for restricted specific tour lengths. These restrictions gave ARC personnel transportation priority to redeploy, further adding to the wing’s sense-of-urgency.

“Forecasting repeated future flight limitations, the 435th LOC recognized the need to think intuitively and out of the box by developing several courses of action using non-standard airlift,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col Richard Reed, 435th AEW director of staff. “The LOC avoided using the dedicated C-17 Globemaster III for the RIP/TOA and instead focused on Africa Command C-130 Hercules, partner nation capabilities through heavy airlift wings, and contracted airlift.”

The results concluded with contracting a Boeing 777 from Norfolk, Virginia for over 200 deployers to arrive and aggregate at Ramstein AB, while awaiting forward movement into Africa. This was the first time this kind of movement was accomplished.

“My role was to help plan a successful transfer of rotational forces,” said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Roos, 435th AEW LOC superintendent. “Utilizing Ramstein AB as a logistics hub or Port of Debarkation for inbound forces was unique and a first of its kind opportunity for our Logistics Operations Cell.”

The 435th LOC coordinated with Air Forces leadership, the Air Mobility Division, and the 603rd Air Operations Center to secure five C-130 missions to deploy and redeploy members between Ramstein and the various African locations. The Patriot express rotator, Air Mobility Command channel missions, and commercial travel were utilized to relocate members back to their home station units, ensuring all members arrived at their respective destinations in a timely manner.

The pioneering movement included the 435th AEW’s Personnel Support for Contingency Operations coordinating with Ramstein AB’s 86th Force Support Squadron for lodging support.

Due to the large body of deployers and lack of available space on station, the 435th PERSCO team was compelled to seek out other lodging. They ended up securing space at the Rhine Ordinance Barracks, a U.S. Army satellite location close to Ramstein AB.

The ROB supports short-stay, barracks-style accommodations. The deployers would have access to available support amenities like the dining facility, fitness center and shoppette on location.

“We reached out to the ROB and discussed our mission, dates, requirements and accommodations, as well as how many personnel we would need to support,” said Master Sgt. Ieshea Lattimore, 435th AEW PERSCO superintendent. “We also met with the 86th Installation Deployment Readiness Center to ensure that all key personnel were engaging with their counterparts, and how we could work together for mission success.”

PERSCO was also able to secure transportation with the 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron to and from the IDRC and ROB, as well as weapons storage.

“Many new processes were put into place during these RIP/TOA milestones,” said Reed, “which, when comprehensively reviewed, establishes the foundation for further refinement, efficacy, and expansion. The execution of massive troop movements strains even the most capable organizations, but the collective efforts of the 435th team demonstrated the unwavering potential of flexible, multi-capable airmen.”

The 435th AEW wing staff agencies worked together to complete the mission of deploying and redeploying contingency deployers to ensure the Africa mission continues despite major setbacks. As the wing transforms into the 406th Air Expeditionary Wing, the unit intends to fine tune its processes and continue coordination with Ramstein AB agencies to support future deployment and redeployment requirements in support of AFRICOM operations.