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 | Feb. 5, 2016

Alaska Air Guardsmen Return from Pacific Command Deployment

By Sgt. Marisa Lindsay

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - More than 100 Airmen and four aircraft assigned to the 168th Air Refueling Wing returned to the frozen tundra on Feb. 2 after a one-month deployment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in support of the Pacific Command Theater mission.

The unit was assigned to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron to provide aerial refueling to aircraft flying over the Western Pacific as part of the continuing U.S. air power mission in the region.

“This was an excellent deployment for the 168th as it specifically exercised the unit for its mission,” said Lt. Col. “Buck” Smith, 168th Air Refueling Squadron commander. “The entire operation was executed flawlessly and validated our ability to deploy and operate as an air mobility unit.”

The support package included four Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker air refueling aircraft, six aircrews, support staff, medical, supply and communications specialists, as well as aircraft maintainers who kept the Truman-era aircraft performing the mission with a 100 percent reliability rate.

“In recent years, we have annually deployed in support of this particular mission on Andersen Air Force Base; however, this is the first year where we’ve had a lead role versus support role,” explained Smith. “We were able to support several high profile missions in-country while seamlessly maintaining our commitment and duty in Alaska.”

Alaska Air Guardsmen led the way with this Air Expeditionary Force cycle deployment, receiving support from a handful of Guard members from Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

“This deployment was accomplished with 100 percent volunteerism,” concluded Smith. “I’m very proud of what our Guardsmen were able to achieve in Guam.”




US and Philippine Army Soldiers Establish a Joint Operations Center for the First Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center-Exportable in the Philippines
U.S. and Philippines Army soldiers monitor personnel actions in the Joint Operations Center during the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center-Exportable (JPMRC-X) exercise on Fort Magsaysay, Philippines, 31 May 2024. This iteration of JPMRC-X marks the first deployment to the Philippines, which will enable and assist the Philippines Army and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in building combat training center locations within the Philippines.
The JPMRC-X is a Department of the Army initiative consisting of a deployable package of personnel and equipment designed to support training exercises across the Pacific. 
(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Tommie Berry)
June 7, 2024 - U.S. and Philippine Army Soldiers establish a Joint Operations Center (JOC) as part of Exercise Salaknib 2024. The establishment of a JOC marks a pivotal moment in fostering collaboration among multinationals during the Joint...

317 AW 'Explodes into Theater' with maximum endurance operation for Valiant Shield 24
A C-130J Super Hercules assigned to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, gets refueled at Travis Air Force Base, California, during an extended Maximum Endurance Operation, June 4, 2024. Two aircraft equipped with external fuel tanks completed the MEO to Guam in support of Valiant Shield 2024. Exercises such as Valiant Shield allow the Indo-Pacific Command Joint Forces the opportunity to integrate forces from all branches of service and with our allies to conduct precise, lethal, and overwhelming multi-axis, multi-domain effects that demonstrate the strength and versatility of the Joint Force and our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emma Anderson)
June 7, 2024 - The 317th Airlift Wing successfully completed an expanded Maximum Endurance Operation to Guam with two C-130J Super Hercules aircraft equipped with external fuel tanks, June 4, 2024...

Allies Come Together in the Indo-Pacific: Valiant Shield 24
June 5, 2024 - U.S. Indo-Pacific Command joint forces, along with allied and partner forces, are scheduled to participate in exercise Valiant Shield (VS) 2024, June 7-18, on Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau,...

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Concludes Tenth Visit to the Indo-Pacific
June 5, 2024 - Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III concluded his tenth official visit to the Indo-Pacific region today...

Malaysia, U.S. Continue to Strengthen Ties at Bersama Warrior 2024 Exercise
Washington National Guard and Malaysian Armed Forces members participate in the Bersama Warrior 2024 opening ceremonies June 1, 2024, at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Washington Guard and Malaysia have been partners under the State Partnership Program since 2017.
June 5, 2024 - The 10th annual Bersama Warrior exercise began June 1 with an opening ceremony led by Malaysian Armed Forces leaders and U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Kenneth Borchers, director of the Joint Staff for the Washington National...