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Dyess Airmen deploy to Afghanistan

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing and 7th Bomb Wing deployed with C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to Afghanistan May 4.

For some of the Airmen, this is their first time deploying into an overseas location. With unknown environments, the Airmen must be prepared for anything. However, Airmen receive robust training and guidance prior to deploying.

“I’m looking forward to the challenges of deploying,” said Airman 1st Class Nolan Brandt, 39th Airlift Squadron C-130J Super Hercules loadmaster. “You’ll never know what’s going to be thrown at you.”

As an airlift squadron with C-130J, the deployed Airmen will support intratheater airlift supporting combatant commanders through tactical airlift and airdrop operations.

In addition to the year-round training Airmen receive to stay mission-ready every day, the Airmen assigned to the deployment completed a two-week training in Nevada to prepare themselves for the terrain and weather of Afghanistan, said Lt. Col. Mark Yarian, 39th AS commander. The training involved bare-base operations while running a Combined Air Operations Center and an Air Mobility Division.

“The environment of Afghanistan is very different than west Texas,” Yarian said. “Challenges we can face while operating are large mountains, erratic weather, high temperatures and a high altitude. We can also face the challenge of adversaries.”

With safety being one of the biggest priorities in a deployed location, Airmen often look to those leading them for guidance and their own training and experiences on how to handle situations.

From Airmen of the lower ranks to officers, Yarian said he has the privilege to lead this deployment’s Airmen into combat one last time before the 39th Airlift Squadron’s change of command.

“They are great Airmen; eager, prepared, trained and ready to go,” Yarian said.