Airmen with Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 128th ARW to deploy to Southwest Asia

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MILWAUKEE — Airmen from the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s Milwaukee-based 128th Air Refueling Wing are scheduled to deploy over the next few months in support of the Central Command (CENTCOM) Theater Security Package.

Approximately 140 personnel and five KC-135 Stratotankers will fall under the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia. The deployment is designed to provide the CENTCOM region with forces capable of a variety of operations, including developing and executing security cooperation programs, improving bilateral and multi-lateral partnerships, building partnered “capacities,” and improving information sharing, security, and stability.

“The deployment gives our pilots and maintainers opportunities to integrate with other USAF assets as well as joint and international partners,” Col. Dan Yenchesky, 128th Air Refueling Wing commander said. “The relationships we form during this deployment enhance our warfighting integration and ground support among the different military services and our allies.”

The moment the group departs Milwaukee, their mission begins.

The Airmen who remain in Milwaukee will continue their mission execution as well, according to Yenchesky. Homeland defense is our nation’s number one priority.

Several planning meetings and training missions have taken place to prepare the Airmen.

“Key personnel will remain here executing our primary mission here in Milwaukee,” Yenchesky said. “We also have additional aircraft that will remain here in Milwaukee to provide the necessary mission coverage and ensure pilots and maintainers maintain mission readiness.”

Few will notice any changes as the 128 ARW continues to fulfill its commitments, tasking and mission requirements with homeland defense while executing mission taskings during the CENTCOM deployment, Yenchesky said.

A send-off ceremony for the deploying 128th ARW Airmen is scheduled to take place at 10:00 a.m., September 28th.

The deploying unit members are comprised of skilled Airmen from operations, aircraft maintenance, civil engineering, headquarters, and logistics readiness.

Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Ron Johnson, and Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, Wisconsin’s Adjutant General, are expected to address the Airmen and their families during the ceremony. Family programs, the USO, Red Cross and other organizations will be there to support and give information to families of deploying Airmen.