08/27/09 — 916th troops deploy

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916th troops deploy

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 27, 2009 1:46 PM


Airmen from the 916th Air Refueling Wing board a KC-135R Stratotanker -- bound for Guam -- at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base this morning. By the middle of next week, hundreds from the Reserve wing will have started tours in the Pacific and Middle East.


916th Tech. Sgt. Anthony Hairston loads the holding bins of a KC-135 bound for Guam as dozens of 916th Air Refueling Wing airmen deploy this morning.

Dozens of airmen from the 916th Air Refueling Wing walked the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base flight line this morning before boarding a KC-135R Stratotanker and beginning several-month tours in the Pacific and Middle East.

And hundreds more from the Reserve wing will join them within the week, officials said.

Reserve and active duty air crews, maintainers and support personnel reported to Seymour Johnson late last week to begin the deployment process -- going through processing lines, medical evaluations and "just-in-time training."

Their commander, Col. Fritz Linsenmeyer, said he is confident they are ready to represent their comrades -- and country -- well.

"The airmen of the 916th will spend the next several months applying their skills and training in two very different areas of responsibility, both important for maintaining national security and providing global mobility power for the Air Force and Air Force Reserve Command," he said. "We are extremely proud of the work they do and want to thank their families and employers for supporting their call to duty."

Another Stratotanker -- bound, like the one that left this morning, for Guam -- will leave Friday and early next week; several others will head to the Middle East.