916th Air Refueling Wing Deploys

  • Published
  • By Capt William-Joseph Mojica
  • 916th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Multiple crews from the 916th Air Refueling Wing deployed over the course of the last week and in multiple chalks to Turkey and Guam as part of ongoing global operations.

"Our Citizen Airmen constantly make the incredible sacrifice of leaving their jobs and their families to support and defend our nation. This year our airmen will be gone through the holidays, which can be a very difficult time for those families, especially those who are going through their first deployment.” said Command Chief Master Sergeant Shirley Wilcox, the Command Chief of the 916th ARW.

More than 120 Active Duty Airmen and Citizen Airmen from the wing were a mix of personnel assigned to the 911th Air Refueling Squadron, the 77th Air Refueling Squadron, the 916th Operations Support Squadron, the 916th Maintenance Squadron and the 916th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron in addition to a few from other units within the wing.

As the premier integrated team of combat-ready Airmen, this utilization of deployed Airmen is the largest combined mobilization in the 916th ARW’s storied history. The personnel involved range from members facing their first deployment to savvy veterans.

“The first one is always the worst, and after that you’re already experienced,” said Master Sgt. Demian Godshall, a crew chief with the 916th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron who has deployed more than 30 times in spans ranging from three-weeks to nine-months over the course of his 23 year career. “The last one is always the best one, but who knows when that’s gonna be for me.”

In addition to the Airmen, several of the wing’s KC-135R Stratotankers were also deployed to support global operations and to provide rapid global mobility: on time, every time!

This marks the wings first operational tasking as an Integrated-wing and builds upon the Air Force’s Total Force construct.

“With this deployment being my first one, I’m excited to go because it’s something new,” said Senior Airman Donald Harris, an electrical environmental technician with the 916th Maintenance Squadron. “But, I will also be excited to return home.”