ATLANTIC CITY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.J. --
Approximately 200 pilots, maintainers and support personnel from the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard, located at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, New Jersey, deployed to Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, in support of the U.S. Pacific Command Theater Security Package (TSP) on Feb. 2, 2017.
Theater security packages, which help maintain a deterrent against threats to regional security and stability, are routinely utilized by the U.S. Air Force for the U.S. PACOM and Pacific Air Forces regions.
According to Headquarters Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs, “Movement of theater security packages into the region has been a routine and integral part of U.S. PACOM’s force posture since March 2004. These packages demonstrate the continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”
Almost 100 increments, or large palletized pieces of equipment and cargo weighing approximately one third of a million pounds, were prepared and shipped to Osan to support the flying operations of the 119th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col Matthew Crill, commander of the 119th, shared a few comments with Osan Public Affairs, prior to the deployment. “Our wing project officer and various unit leaders have worked well with the Osan team in preparation for our arrival, and our ADVON (Advance Echelon) personnel team is experienced at preparing for our aircraft and main body arrival.”
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Richard Shelton, NCOIC of the 177th egress shop, was happy to deploy on a TSP and shared some advice with some younger unit members. “Work hard, stick together and use the buddy system,” said Shelton, a twenty year veteran at the 177th. “If you see something that needs to be done, do it, don’t wait for someone else to step up and volunteer. Enjoy the culture.”
Several 177th unit members from various sections volunteered to help move increments transported via tractor trailer by the 177th Logistics Readiness Squadron onto contract commercial aircraft at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
On his first deployment with the 177th, Senior Airman Jordan Tavarez, munitions systems specialist, said he was also looking forward to the deployment. “I’m amazed at the amount of work that goes into getting the TSP package deployed. From the Logistics Readiness Squadron to the Medical Group, it is amazing to see the Wing come together as one to make sure everything and everyone is prepared to accomplish the mission overseas.”
“I am humbled and proud to be in command of the women and men who chose to serve in the New Jersey Air National Guard,” said Crill. “I am grateful for the opportunity to command these citizen airmen who volunteer to serve, in a Drill Status Guardsman, Technician or Active Guard and Reserve status, on active duty in an AOR that has significant strategic importance.”