by Airman 1st Class Peter Thompson
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
8/20/2013 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- 317th
Airlift Group C-130Js, aircrews and maintainers departed from Dyess Air
Force Base, Texas, Aug. 10, in support of U.S. Africa Command at
Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
More than 20 Airmen from the 39th Airlift Squadron will integrate with
units from the 37th Airlift Squadron of Ramstein, to stand in alert
postures and prepare for any taskings AFRICOM might have.
"While we are there, we will provide standby services to support AFRICOM
in building defense capabilities, responding to crisis, and deterring
and defeating foreign threats for the betterment of the United States,"
said Lt. Col. Michael Brock, 39th Airlift Squadron commander. "We are
bringing all of our capabilities with us; airland, airdrop and
aeromedical evacuation. Whatever they need us to do, we will be ready."
This is the first time in two years that the 317th AG has supported
AFRICOM. Most recently, in early 2011, the group provided one of their
first C-130Js in support of operations in North Africa.
Leadership at the airlift squadron views the deployment as a learning
opportunity they wouldn't have available to them at other deployed
"Most of our deployments are to Southwest Asia, so we haven't had much
experience in Africa or Europe as a unit," Brock said. "We are going to
learn in a new environment. We can come back, digest what we've learned
and apply it in the future, so we can be more prepared for missions when
we are called upon."
The 39th AS had already begun expanding training skills in preparation
for a separate overseas tour when they received notice of this
deployment. They have focused training missions on enhancing competency
in flying single and multiple aircraft formations with numerous mission
"We have been preparing for months now and we've innovated the way we
train," Brock said. "This deployment is going to be different from what
we are used to. We have to be prepared for anything and everything."
"For this deployment, we will focus more on mission planning and
executing missions that are high priority," said Maj. Trevor Hall, 317th
AG mission commander.
The mission may be different but the goal is still the same, Brock said.
"No matter where we deploy, we provide outstanding Airmen to aid in
projecting global power by providing global reach for America."