06/16/04 — Wing commander speaks at fundraiser

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Wing commander speaks at fundraiser

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on June 16, 2004 1:58 PM

The strong connection between Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and Wayne Community College was at the forefront Tuesday during a dinner and auction to raise money for college scholarships.

Brig. Gen. Rick Rosborg, 4th Fighter Wing commander at Seymour Johnson, was the event's keynote speaker and said the base has a close relationship with the college and said he tells new airmen every week that education is the key to success in the military and in life.

Around 200 people attended the dinner and auction at Lane Tree Country Club. It is a prelude to the 12th annual Wayne Community College golf tournament, which is being held today.

Seymour Johnson averages 150 people completing degrees per year from the Community College of the Air Force, which is supported by Wayne Community College. The college has offered courses on base since 1975, and during the past three years, it has averaged 2,500 enrollments per year from military members, family members, Department of Defense employees and civilians from the local area, according to the base's public affairs office.

Rosborg also described the base's current role in the global war on terrorism. He said over the past two weeks almost 400 airmen have returned to Seymour Johnson. Last week, the base deployed 12 aircraft and 400 airmen to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. They are helping build schools and rebuild Iraq's electrical power grid, among other things, he said. The war is still not over, and the airmen are dropping bombs and are under fire daily.

He also showed a video and provided a slide show presentation describing the base's role last year in supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. The airmen were part of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, which had a total of 148 aircraft in eight squadrons and 6,500 airmen. Seymour Johnson contributed 48 F-15Es and around 1,900 airmen to the wing.

"They were absolutely magnificent," added Rosborg, who was the wing commander.

The wing flew 3,500 combat sorties, many of which were between six and 11 hours long and required between three and seven air-to-air refuelings.

Rosborg received the 2004 Moller Trophy this month, which is the top wing commander award from Air Combat Command. It recognizes the wing commander who has demonstrated the most effective leadership to achieve and maintain the wing's combat effectiveness.