Welcome home, Global Vikings

  • Published
  • By Chris Farley
  • 934th Airlift Wing

More than 75 Airmen from the 934th Airlift Wing returned here on May 19, from a three-month overseas deployment to the United States European Command area of responsibility in support of Ukraine.

On a short-notice deployment, the 934 AW mobilized to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Feb. 16, 2022 in an effort to provide tactical airlift support to include aeromedical evacuations with C-130H Hercules throughout the EUCOM and United States Africa Command AOR.

“We are proud of the hard work achieved during this deployment and we're especially pleased with the bond forged by our “Global Vikings” with the 165 AW Airmen. This partnership gave both wings a platform to increase their tactical lift capabilities in support of Ukraine. Every sortie Task Force Iron Herk flew was a collective step taken to ensure protective measures needed to defend our Allies,” said Col. Chris Lay, 934 AW commander.


The 934 AW and the 165th Airlift Wing combined their efforts in theater to form Task Force Iron Herk. At the end of the deployment and the groups final mission, the combined wings had logged over 749 flight hours and contributed to the support of more than 277 sorties, transporting 1371 service members, 130 patients and airlifting over 749 tons of cargo.         

“The ability of the two units to activate 140 National Guard and Reserve Airmen on a short-notice tasker, deploy to the AOR and integrate our collective assets emphasizes the professionalism of the leadership team and the dedication of every airman that had a hand in the success of the mission,” said Col. Robert S. Noren, 165 AW commander.

Maj. Erik Anderson, 86th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer-in-charge and the 934th Maintenance Squadron commander, said resiliency helped them cope with the fluid and demanding environment they were operating in.

“When we left, we didn't know what [specifically] we were going to do and where we were going. When we got there, our day to day mission was always changing and evolving. And everyone did a really good job handling that,” said Anderson.  

As the world closely watched events in Ukraine rapidly change, Anderson said they also watched, but experienced the changes. When the Biden Administration authorized significant funding for immediate support to Ukraine, Anderson said he was impressed to see that within a week, the 934 AW’s C-130 mission volume increased and this placed the task force in a better position to provide support to Ukraine.      

When he left in February, Senior Airman Josiah Goodman, 934 Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion technician, was going on his first deployment and he said his goodbyes to his girlfriend Sofia Garduño.

Now back from his deployment, he says he is looking forward to deploying again.

“It was definitely a little bit of a shock, I would say. You know what I mean, just being in that greater bubble [EUCOM]. But it felt good and you feel a little bit more unified, overall,” said Goodman.

“It [the deployment] was a little bit hard at first, but, we got used to it and we made a lot of FaceTime calls,” said Garduño.