Approximately 180 Airmen from the 115th Fighter Wing, 176th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, Wisconsin Air National Guard, also known as the Badgers, completed a 3-month Theater Security Package deployment here, November 8.
Pacific Air Forces Theater Security Package deployments to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region signify a continued commitment to regional stability and security, while allowing units to train in the Pacific theater. F-16s routinely deploy throughout the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.
These TSP’s demonstrate the continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security while simultaneously demonstrating the U.S. military’s commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific by bolstering training and operational readiness which ensure that the Wolf Pack remains ready to “Fight Tonight”.
“Although our units differ in operations tempo, we all bring unique advantages to the table. For the 176th, our advantage happens to be experienced instructor pilots,” said Lt. Col. Bart Van Roo, 176th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander.
During the deployment, the Badgers participated in two wing-level Beverly Pack operational readiness exercises, integrated into the combat training and upgrade programs with the wing and provided self-sufficient and supplemental flight-line and maintenance support alongside Airmen from the 8th Fighter Wing.
Tech Sgt. Dennis Lochner, 115th FW egress technician, mentioned that many of the Airmen within his host shop came to Kunsan straight from technical training school so his experience came in handy during the high-tempo moments due to mission requirements.
“Our guard unit has a lot of knowledge,” said Tech Sgt. Brett Sabin, 115th FW electrical warfare technician. “Most of us have 20 to 30 years’ experience under our belt and the 8th FW has a lot of young eager [Airmen] willing to learn so this deployment was a good teaching opportunity.”
The routine movement of TSPs into the region since March 2004 is an integral part of U.S. Pacific Command’s force posture, visibly assuring U.S. allies and interests in the region.
The 34th Fighter Squadron from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, began deployed operations with approximately 300 Airmen and 12 F-35A Lightning IIs at Kadena Air Base, Japan, effectively serving as the rotational replacement for the Badgers.
Source and photo credits: US Air Force Command, Capt. Christopher Mesnard