Ellsworth Airmen deploy to Southwest Asia
By Airman 1st Class Hrair H. Palyan, 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 31, 2012
ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Approximately 350 Airmen bid farewell to their families, friends and co-workers July 21, as they prepare to deploy to Southwest Asia to support missions in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
Ellsworth Airmen will conduct B-1 missions designed to rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against adversaries. Airmen in non-aviation roles will be conducting a wide range of tasks to ensure the success of providing critical, long-range capability in that region of the world.
"The nature of our missions in Southwest Asia is very important," said Col. Gentry Boswell, 28th Bomb Wing vice commander. "We have a very clear focus to eliminate the Taliban and Al-Qaeda threats to our ground forces out there, and we take it seriously."
Boswell added that this deployment is the start of a yearlong commitment by Ellsworth to conduct vital operations in Southwest Asia. Between January 2011 and January 2012, Ellsworth B-1 aircrews from the 37th Bomb Squadron and 34th Bomb Squadron tallied an impressive 99.83 percent mission effectiveness rate, filling more than 3,000 Joint Tactical Air Requests while responding to 432 "Troops in Contact" situations and destroying 321 targets. Boswell anticipates that level of success will continue.
The colonel added that while Ellsworth Airmen are taking care of business in Southwest Asia, the base will be focused on supporting the families of those waiting at home.
"While our Airmen are out there supporting the fight on the ground, our job is to take care of their families and make sure they have everything they need," Boswell said.
Ellsworth has a variety of programs to support families of Airmen who deploy, including the Airmen and family Readiness Center and Ellsworth family advocacy.
This was the first real world deployment done in the base's new deployment center. The modern, $15 million dollar facility with many state-of-the-art processing functions is designed to conduct deployment operations more efficiently and effectively.