BUNKER HILL – Grissom Air Reserve Base has started one of its largest deployments since 9/11, sending reservists and specialists to locations all over the world.
Douglas Hays, the 434th Air Refueling Wing public affairs operations chief, said the base is deploying more people than he has seen in a “long, long time.” He could not confirm the number of reservists or specific units on deployment, citing security issues.
“It’s a very busy time for us,” Hays said.
He said the deployment started earlier this month and will likely continue until the spring to various missions in locations such as southwest Asia, the Pacific and Europe.
Types of crews which are deploying include refueling units, aircrews and aircraft maintenance, and a large number of support personnel and specialists, Hays said.
Grissom is home to the 434th Air Refueling Wing, which is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The citizen airmen at the base routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.
“It’s what we train for, and we’re ready for what we do,” Hays said.
Air Force reservists support nuclear deterrence operations, intelligence surveillance reconnaissance, global precision attack, special operations, rapid global mobility and personnel recovery, according to the Air Force Reserve Command website.
They also perform space operations, aircraft flight testing, aerial port operations, civil engineer, security forces, military training, communications, mobility support, transportation and services missions.