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Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing deploys to U.S. Pacific Command

Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing deploys to U.S. Pacific Command

Wisconsin Air National Guard Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Safer addresses 115th Fighter Wing Airmen and their families during a deployment ceremony at Truax Field in Madison, Wis. August 3, 2017. Approximately 270 Airmen and 12 F-16 Fighting Falcons will spend the next four months training under the direction of the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base, Korea as part of a Pacific Air Force Theater Security Package deployment. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Meghan Skrepenski)

MADISON, Wis. -- Family and friends gathered together in a sendoff ceremony held at Truax Field on August 3 to bid farewell to Airmen of the 115th Fighter Wing deploying on a four month rotation to Kunsan Air Base, Korea. The Airmen are deploying in support of U.S. Pacific Command’s Theater Security Package intended to demonstrate a commitment to stability and security in the region.

Maj. Gen. Donald P. Dunbar, the Adjutant General of the Wisconsin National Guard, spoke to the group of approximately 270 Airmen preparing to deploy for four months in support of Pacific Air Forces Theater Security Package deployments. Dunbar thanked the families for their support and addressed the concerns of family and friends in attendance.

“I promise you that we have done everything in our power to prepare them for this mission, and they are exceptional at what they do,” said Dunbar. “There is nobody finer in this world at flying, maintaining and securing F-16’s…. I assure you that we have done everything to prepare them for this mission and I assure you that they are ready.”

Freedom is defended each and every day by the men and women who proudly wear the uniform. Thank you for stepping forward to be part of this deployment, said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Thank you on behalf of the people of Wisconsin who appreciate your sacrifice, and the sacrifices of your friends and family.

“We are here today to proudly deploy you because you are the best of the best,” said Walker. “Not just the very best of those here at the 115th, not just the best of the Wisconsin [Air National Guard], not just the best of the Air National Guard. You are the best of the best.”

During the ceremony, Walker reflected on the flag patch he still carries today from an earlier Wisconsin deployment, as he presented the Wisconsin State Flag to Lt. Col. Bart T. Van Roo, 176th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander and the TSP deployment commander. The state flag signifies the family and friends and all those thinking of them while they are gone, hoping for their safe return, stated Walker. 

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