More than 200 Airmen from the 112th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron are scheduled to return Wednesday to the 180th Fighter Wing from a three-month deployment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
While deployed, the Airmen supported a Theater Security Package, which promoted stability and security throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and helped ensure national interests abroad by providing influence and deterrence though force presence.
“When you look at Guam as an island in the middle of the pacific, it has huge strategic military implications; for forward staging, as a stopover point, even as a launching point for some of the bombers.” said Lt. Col. Michael DiDio, Commander of the 112th EFS. “We’re here to protect that vital location.”
While deployed in support of the TSP, Airmen also participated in Cope North 2016, an annual exercise designed to enhance multilateral air operations between the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force. Nearly 3,000 military personnel and 22 flying units from six countries participated in CN16, promoting the growth of strong, interoperable and beneficial relationships within the Indo-Asia-Pacific region through integration of airborne and land-based command and control assets.
The training helped develop combat capabilities, enhancing air superiority, electronic warfare, air interdiction, tactical airlift and aerial refueling between the participating nations.
“We’re trying to build that team focus,” said Capt. Seth Murray, an F-16 pilot with the 112th EFS. “It’s not just the U.S. or Korea or Japan. It’s all of us coming together with our partners to defend our common interests.”