Airmen Prepare For Deployment - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Airmen Prepare For Deployment

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The snow plows were out in fullforce at Minot Air Force Base Monday morning for the B-52'sto take off.

About 300 airmen, and a portion ofthe B-52's from the 69th Bomb Squadron are deploying to Andersen Air Force Basethis week as part of the UnitedStates Air Force's ongoing mission to provide stability and security in theAsia-Pacific Region.

"We'llbe doing the full spectrum of capabilities on the island for our missionset.  We'll be getting everyone spun up on low altitude training toinclude aerial mining and working with the Navy. Additionally, we'll becontinuing our long-range strike capability, which is long-range missiles andincrease the capability out there for the Pacific command," says Lt. Col.Matt McDaniel.

Formore than a third of the squadron, this will be their first trip to AndersenAir Force Base.

"The men and women of the 69th are outstanding. I love their youthful exuberance, says McDaniel. "They are a very young squadron verycapable and very excited to lead them out there to the island."

Withcontinuous rotation in and out of Guam fromboth Minot and Barksdale, airmen were notified several months in advance aboutthe deployment.

"They'reexcited to escape the cold of North Dakota. I'm confident of that. There willbe about a 100 degree temperature change for them to the beaches of Andersen. I'm sure they are nervous as well. It's a long flight over there. However, they have excellent skills and I'm highly confident that everythingthey'll do on the island will be outstanding," McDaniel

The airmen will be deployed for six or seven months depending on when they are relieved of their mission.

Themain body personnel from Minot will leaveWednesday morning for Guam.  Withconstruction on the runway project set to begin in April, Air Force officialssay the planes will not return to Minotuntil the project is complete.

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