Keesler reservists support Southwest Asia operations

  • Published
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

Air Force Reserve Citizen Airmen and several C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 403rd Wing have deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom Sentinel.

Aircrew from the 815th Airlift Squadron, and Airmen from the 403rd Operational Support Squadron and 803rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and other support personnel from throughout the wing will provide various airlift operations throughout the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.

As the deployment lead, the 815th AS “Flying Jennies” will be assigned to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, Ali Al Salem, Kuwait. This marks the 815th’s eighth deployment since 2004 and Airmen and aircraft from the 403rd Wing have also provided airlift support for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Their most recent deployment was in 2018.

The COVID-19 pandemic made preparing for deployments a more challenging feat this time around but 815th AS Commander Lt. Col. Matthew Sikkink said those deploying have conquered the challenges and that aircrews were able to complete all required flight training during the summer to obtain full mission and combat qualifications – they are ready for the challenges ahead.

“I expect they will provide a tremendous contribution to the combatant commander and to the warfighters, and they will represent Keesler Air Force Base, the 403rd Wing, and the Air Force Reserve Command well,” he said.