By Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 07, 2016
Airman 1st Class Bobby Baker and Brian Allen, 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chiefs, read through their technical orders during preventative maintenance on a B1-B Lancer September 22, 2015 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Baker and Allen are deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)
A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., takes off, Feb. 25, 2015, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. B-1B Lancers can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time. Airstrikes provided by the B-1 have helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces to retake and hold key territory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kia Atkins)
Ammo Airmen assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron load a fuse into a guided bomb unit at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, March 13, 2015, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. A GBU is a precision-guided munition designed to achieve greater accuracy. For every individual munition expenditure made by the B-1, Ammo Airmen build one—which can mean they are building anywhere between six and 12 Joint Direct Attack Munitions at a time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kia Atkins)
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Cody Patterson, 34th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit, performs a right main landing gear wheel well inspection on a B-1B Lancer, March 1, 2015, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Patterson, a native of Marion, Va., deployed here from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., is a dedicated crew chief of the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron flagship. Patterson thoroughly checked the wheel well to ensure there was no structural damage. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kia Atkins)
A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron prepares to depart after refueling over Southwest Asia in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, July 23, 2015. OIR is the military intervention against Daesh. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sandra Welch)
A KC-135 Stratotanker takes off from the flightline Dec. 31, 2014, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron here surpassed a major milestone with their Roll-On Beyond Line of Sight Enhancement data link system when the unit completed 40,000 flight hours while supporting combat missions in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mariko Frazee)
Senior Airman Marco Melendez, 379th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, yells commands to another responder during a mass casualty exercise at AUAB, Dec. 15. The exercise tested the emergency response capabilities of fire and medical personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Joshua Strang)
3-6 Heavy Cavalry Regiment soldiers deployed from Fort Bliss, Texas work to move one of two Apache helicopters out of a C-17 Globemaster III at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Dec. 13. The C-17, which is deployed from the 62nd Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, delivered the helicopters. The helicopters are scheduled to take part in the annual Qatar National Day Parade set for Dec. 18. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)
Gen. Mark Welsh III, Chief of Staff of the Air Force (left), poses for a picture with 1st Lt. Meghan Eckenrode, 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron (center) and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, James Cody (right), in the Blatchford-Preston Complex Dining Facility at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Dec. 11. Welsh and Cody met with Airmen during their visit to AUAB and thanked them for their service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)
The roll on beyond line of sight enhancement, a tactical communication system was developed by Northrop-Grumman in 2003. Since being placed on the KC-135 Stratotanker in 2008 it has achieved 50,000 operational hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terrica Y. Jones/Released)
U.S. Air Force Airmen deliver fuel to coalition bases in Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, Dec. 16, 2015. OIR is the coalition intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb)
Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work talks with service members during a Thanksgiving meal at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. There were 14 service members who ate with the Honorable Mr. Work and his wife Mrs. Cassandra Work. The Deputy Secretary of Defense started off with introductions but quickly got to the important stuff; thanking the service members and eating turkey and stuffing. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Terrica Y. Jones)
(Left) U.S. Air Force Capt. Mark Costa and Maj. Joseph Corpening fly a KC-135T Stratotanker, assigned to the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, over Southwest Asia, Nov. 23, 2015. Costa and Corpening are pilots deployed out of the 157th Air Refueling Wing in New Hampshire. Coalition forces fly daily missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Corey Hook/Released)
U.S. airmen and airmen from the Qatar Emir Air Force respond to a force protection exercise at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Nov. 12. The exercise featured an attempted aircraft hijacking. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)
Students of the Compass International School Doha pet Sparky, National Fire Protection Association mascot during a visit as part of Fire Prevention Week educational seminars from airmen of the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department October 8, 2015 in Doha, Qatar. During the visit, children were able to apply the skills taught and ask questions to further their learning. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)
Two 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters carry one of their fellow firefighters out of a simulated burning building during an interagency exercise in Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Oct. 27. The injured firefighter stepped on a mock explosive device which required him to be rescued from the building. The interagency exercise featured professionals from three 379th Air Expeditionary Wing units including explosive ordnance technicians, security forces patrolmen and firefighters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terrica Y. Jones/Released)
Service members stand in formation during a flag raising ceremony to honor past service members Nov. 11 as the French flag is raised at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. French soldiers alongside service members from other nations gathered to commemorate the end of World War I, known in Europe as Armistice Day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)
The first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama meets with service members inside the Fox Skybox at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Nov. 3. Obama said she is very proud of the hard work America’s military men and women do. “You’re the ones doing the tough work, without complaint and you’re representing our nation. I‘ve always been in awe of our military service members, our veterans and their families. Thank you, we love you,” she said. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)
Late night talk show host and comedian, Conan O’Brien, poses for photos with several airmen at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Nov. 4. O’Brien visited AUAB to meet with and entertain service members. He said he was honored to visit with America’s warriors and thanked all service members for what they do to defend America’s freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)
Capt. Alycia Hackenburg, Air Force Central Command, crosses the finish line as the first female to complete 13.1 miles at the 2015 Air Force Marathon Forward September 13, 2015 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. This will mark seven years that the race has taken place at seven operating bases in theater. The first Air Force Marathon was held in 1997 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Since then, each marathon has been held the third Saturday of September, with an aircraft chosen each year to represent Air Force history in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)
Runners race to the finish line of the Dignity and Respect 5K Oct. 23, 2015 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The 3.1 mile race was organized to foster a culture of dignity and respect among service members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)
Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discusses the book “Noncommissioned Officer and Petty Officer: Backbone of the Armed Forces,” during an Enlisted All-Call with more than 400 members of Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar at the Coalition Compound Theater Oct. 8, 2015. The book, Battaglia said, is one-of-a-kind and provides a comprehensive explanation of what’s expected of enlisted leaders across America’s armed services. During the All-Call, Battaglia also discussed professional development, joint missions and the Department of Defense’s bi-annual award review. He also recognized 10 service members for excellent performance. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)
Teams were given their final times as they entered a mud pool at the end of the Diversity Day mud run September 20, 2015 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The mud run challenged 106 runners with a two mile course that contained several obstacles from low crawling, T-wall climbing, barrier hurdles, and a Ôdeep freezeÕ cold mud pool. The event was held to help spread the word of Diversity Day, an initiative started by the Department of Defense for diversity events held throughout the year. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)
Brig. Gen. Darren James, the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, signs his Combined Federal Campaign-Overseas form Oct.23, 2015 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The CFC-O campaign lasts from Sept. 21st to Nov. 20th. There are several events that will be held to raise awareness to publicize the opportunity to contribute donations for various charities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rasheen Douglas)
A Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Wedgetail receives fuel from an Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker that is deployed to the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar over Iraq September 16, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)
U.S. Air Force Airmen lower an American flag during a retreat ceremony recognizing the fourteenth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Sept. 11, 2015. The retreat ceremony signals the end of the official duty day and serves as a ceremony for paying respect to the flag. In this ceremony, respect was paid to the flag and the memory of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Rasheen Douglas)
Tech. Sgt. Kelena Hendricks, 379th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, receives a changeover brief by a Qatari military member on incoming flight patterns September 2, 2015 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Airmen of the 379th EOSS ATC work closely with Qatari military ATC conducting airfield operations to support coalition forces deployed here in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)
U.S. Air Force members unload a heavy operations vehicle from a C-17 Globemaster III in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Kuwait, August 14, 2015. OIR is the military intervention against Daesh. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sandra Welch)
Monsieur Chevallier, Ambassador de France au Qatar, pins a French National Defense Medal onto U.S. Air Force Major Wilson, Combined Air Operation Center, during the Bastille Day ceremony July 14, 2015 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)
Cargo is loaded onto a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, June 19, 2015. USAF cargo aircraft have transported 23,100 short tons of cargo throughout Afghanistan this year (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford/Released)
Lt. Gen. John Hesterman, U.S. Air Forces Central Command commander, passes the guidon to Brig. Gen Darren James as he assumes command of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing June 14, 25015 Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Change of commands is a tradition that dates back to the Roman Legion in which authority is transferred from one commanding officer to another and is completed in front of the soldiers. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)
An Airman form the 7th Expeditionary Air Mobility Unit directs a Boeing E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar Systems aircraft to park after completing its 100K combat hours milestone mission June 2, 2015 Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The E-8C JSTARS and its active duty, guard and reserve service members conduct missions overseas to support operations on the war on terror. During this time JSTARS completed 100K combat hours by continually flying 24/7 for 11.4 years. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)
Al Udeid Honor Guardsman presents the colors during a Community College of the Air Force recognition ceremony April 28, 2015, at the Blatchford-Preston Complex theater Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Honor Guard is a volunteer program here that allows service members of all branches to perform during base ceremonies and events. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jason Ventura, 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron Check Six facilitator, demonstrates proper weapon holding procedures during joint interoperability training April 14, 2015, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Airmen from the 379th ESFS shared techniques and procedures with members of the Qatar Emiri Air Force during this joint training. Training like this enhances the interoperability of both the U.S. and its host nation partners and helps improve bilateral relations by sharing techniques on how each country operates. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kia Atkins)
U.S. Air Force Col. Caroline Miller, 379th Expeditionary Mission Support Group commander, and Brig. Gen. Darren Hartford, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, cut the ceremonial linen during a linen cutting ceremony, April 3, 2015, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The linen cutting ceremony symbolized the opening of the new Phase II dormitories in the Blatchford-Preston Complex. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kia Atkins)
U.S. servicemembers and Qatar Emiri Air Force members play a friendly game of soccer during Qatar National Sports Day, Feb. 10, 2015, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. National Sports Day is a national holiday in Qatar, held annually since 2011 on the second Tuesday of February with the main objective being to promote a healthy lifestyle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kia Atkins)
Airman 1st Class Jovonte Atkins, 379th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels specialist extends a fuels hose from a R-12 refueler to refuel an aircraft at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Feb. 5, 2015. Since 2001, the 379th ELRS fuels flight has delivered more than three billion gallons of aviation and ground fuel in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kerry Jackson)
A dozen 2,000-pound joint direct attack munitions sit inside a warehouse at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Dec. 17. The bombs were built by hand by airmen from the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron’s Munitions Flight. The Munitions Flight has built nearly 4,000 bombs since July 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)
Deployed service members participate in the annual Battle of the Badges competition at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Dec. 21. The competition consisted of numerous events over four days including firefighter, medical and security forces career field challenges, as well as a fitness challenge. The 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron fire team took first place in the competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)
The 379th Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, the largest and most diverse expeditionary wing in the U.S. Air Force, enters 2016 committed to achieving greater results than the wing experienced in 2015.
Over the past 12 months, the 379 AEW has supported Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. The Wing’s KC-135 Stratotanker fleet, the largest in the world, off-loaded more than 700 million pounds of fuel supporting more than 20,000 sorties.
Additionally, the B-1 Lancer, the wing’s assigned bomber, dropped more weapons on enemy targets than the previous seven years combined and the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron’s Munitions Flight built every one of those weapons by hand.
“We accomplish the mission and set records on the backs of the airmen of this wing,” said Brig. Gen. Darren James, 379 AEW commander. “We execute at the level we do because of the dedication and professionalism of the airmen we have here. How they execute the mission makes us successful.”
Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Good, 379 AEW command chief, said he’s been inspired by the service members at AUAB.
“Everything that happens here happens because of every single soldier, sailor, airman and Marine; what they’re able to accomplish, regardless of the situation or the environment, is awe-inspiring every single day,” Good said.
“There are examples everywhere,” Good added. “Whether it’s the airman standing a post, the mechanics working on the flight line in 120 degree heat or the service member who is missing the birth of his second child because he’s making the sacrifice to serve his country, they’re inspiring every single day.”
While the 379 AEW has much to be proud of over the past year, James said he’s looking forward to seeing what the wing will accomplish in 2016.
“My expectation is that we’ll continue to break records and we’ll continue to execute at the level that we do because that’s what we’re here for,” James said. “It will be interesting to see if we can continue to set records; the pace we’ve set is pretty impressive and sustaining that for a long period of time, for any organization, is tough.”
The general stressed the 379 AEW will face several challenges in the future, but none greater than the unknown.
“The unknown is the greatest challenge,” James said. “We’ve seen that OIR kind of exponentially increased as far as work load; I have no doubt that OIR will be a long term fight and OFS will demand our attention since the determination was made to keep a U.S. presence in Afghanistan-but not knowing what’s ahead of us is the greatest challenge we face.”
To overcome this challenge, James said, it’s vital every service member has the tools he or she needs to be successful.
“Ensuring that we continue providing for those that are on the installation regardless of service is something I’m focused on,” James said. “Making sure we’re providing the best tools, the best accommodations, and the best equipment possible so our folks can execute their jobs is vital.”
“The most important weapons system is people,” Good said, “We need to take care of our people; make sure they have the training, resources and the guidance to accomplish the mission in an effective, professional manner.”
James also stressed the importance of every service member at AUAB understanding the 379 AEW priorities; mission, wingman and partners.
“Our first priority is the mission and it will remain so because we understand our job here is to support the warfighters, the Combined Forces Air Component Commander and the U.S. Air Force’s Central commander; mission will remain number one,” James said. “Second is wingman, which means always treating each other with dignity and respect, and we’ll continue to focus on that. The wingman priority also means quality of life; that’s providing the tools that soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines need to do their jobs.”
“The last piece is partners; that’s all about relationship building, whether it’s our coalition partners, our mission partners across the base or our host nation partners, we’ll continue to look to build upon and strengthen the relationships we have,” James said.
Another priority for James and Good is ensuring families of service members understand they’re appreciated.
“My message to families is ‘thank you,’ I can’t say it enough,” James said. “Without the love and support of our families back home there’s no way we can execute at the level that we do, knowing that our airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines have the support of their families allows them to focus on their jobs.”