An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | May 3, 2023

Maintainer Camaraderie Leads to Strategic Deterrence in the Indo Pacific

By Airman 1st Class William Pugh

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- 96th Bomb Squadron aircraft maintainers have been supporting the Bomber Task Force mission out of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to ensure a combat ready force is prepared to respond to any threat in the Indo-Pacific.

“The B-52 bomber's presence in the Pacific is incredibly important,” said Tech. Sgt. Rafael Padin-Gonzalez, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief. “Wherever the B-52 goes, maintainers are necessary to make the jet fly. That is the aircraft maintainer’s role in strategic deterrence.”

While supporting the Bomber Task Force, the operations tempo drastically increases compared to operations stateside. The increased tempo places a greater emphasis on the role of aircraft maintainers, who are responsible for keeping the B-52 Stratofortress operational and mission-capable.

Working in a forward deployed location also gives maintenance crews the ability to develop their skills further and learn to adapt in any environment.

“Everybody benefits from the unique experience, and we build upon our skill set quite fast while deployed out here.” said Senior Airman Zachary Tulson, 96th Bomb Squadron communications/navigation systems specialist.

The invaluable experience gained on Bomber Task Force missions ensures Air Force Global Strike Command units are ready to facilitate the B-52’s signature long range strike capability in any real combat scenario.

“The B-52 is not only a deterrent for all of our adversaries, but also reassures our allies and partners,” said Tulson. “It requires everybody to be trained and able to support the mission in order to keep these jets in the sky.”


Like Us
Follow Us



USAG Japan Commander Vsits Key Sites, Recognizes Team Members, Meets City Mayors during Final Tour of Kure
Col. Christopher L. Tomlinson, left, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Japan, and Kure City Mayor Yoshiake Shinhara pose for a photo during Tomlinson’s courtesy visit to the city office April 25. During his visit, Tomlinson thanked Shinhara, his staff, and the citizens of Kure for their continuous partnership and support for the Garrison’s mission. Photo by Noriko Kudo
May 3, 2023 - KURE PIER 6, Japan -- The commander of U.S. Army Garrison Japan conducted his final visit to Kure Pier 6 and its three ammunition depots in Hiroshima April 24 through 26 ahead of the upcoming end of his tenure.Col...

Hickam Honors Historic Aviators
Gen. Ken Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander, speaks during a street rededication ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 26, 2023. Two Hickam streets, Bouquet Boulevard and Bedle Street, named after Army aviators who perished on Oahu in 2021 and 1941 were rededicated following a correction to the spelling of their surnames, honoring their family legacies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zoie Cox)
May 3, 2023 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- A ceremony was held April 26, 2023, at the 15th Wing Headquarter building on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, to rededicate two street signs and continue honoring the legacy of...

36th Aerial Port Squadron trains in Kadena
Staff Sgt. Lamin Sanneh, ramp operations representative with 36th Aerial Port Squadron, and Tech. Sgt. Ryan Jeska, air transportation representative with the 36th Aerial Port Squadron, off-load a luggage container from a Patriot Express flight during annual training on April 23, 2023 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 36th Aerial Port Squadron trained with their peers in the 733rd Air Mobility Squadron for their annual training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rachel Herrod)
May 3, 2023 - JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- For the airmen of the 36th Aerial Port Squadron (APS) being able to trust each other is an integral part to being able to perform their job successfully and efficiently.As Reserve Citizen...

B-1B Lancers Integrate with Partners, Build Interoperability during Exercise COPE INDIA 2023
A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from the 28th Bomb Wing, prepares for take off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, April 12, 2023. Bomber missions provide opportunities to train and work with our allies and partners in joint and coalition operations and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Austin McIntosh)
May 2, 2023 - ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- B-1B Lancers assigned to the 34th Bomb Squadron successfully participated in exercise COPE INDIA 2023, April 10-21, 2023. Participation in the exercise enhanced partnership between the U.S...

US, Multinational Service Members, Ships, Aircraft Meet in Alaska for Northern Edge 23-1
In this file photo, a  U.S. Marine Corps High Mobility Artillery Rocket System assigned to HIMARS Detachment, Battalion Landing Team 1/4, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, maneuvers to a KC-130J Super Hercules assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, during a HIMARS Rapid Infiltration in support of Northern Edge 2021. U.S. service members are participating in a joint training exercise hosted by U.S. Pacific Air Forces May 3-14, 2021, on and above the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, the Gulf of Alaska, and temporary maritime activities area. NE21 is one in a series of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command exercises designed to sharpen the joint forces’ skills; to practice tactics, techniques, and procedures; to improve command, control and communication relationships; and to develop cooperative plans and programs. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Kassie McDole)
May 2, 2023 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – Thousands of U.S. service members, five ships and more than 150 aircraft are scheduled to participate in Northern Edge 2023 (NE23-1), a joint field training exercise at various...