Unit opens new 75 EAS chapter at CJTF-HOA
By Staff Sgt. Leslie Keopka, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Public Affairs Office
/ Published July 09, 2014
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti -- The 75th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron was activated on May 28, 2014 at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti and is currently comprised of personnel deployed from the 317th Airlift Group from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.
Future squadrons rotating into Camp Lemonnier will be assigned to the 75th EAS under the 449th Air Expeditionary Group.
"The 75th has an awesome heritage that dates back to airlifts in WWII, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Desert Shield," said U.S. Maj. Seth Schwesinger, 75th EAS commander. "It is a really broad spectrum of what we do and defines [our mission] almost exactly."
Squadron leadership worked with the United States Air Forces in Europe history office to match the unit with a squadron that had significant history. The 75th Airlift Squadron was originally activated on February 8, 1943, but has been deactivated and activated many times since.
The C-130J aircrews fly a wide range of missions, including the timely movement of the East Africa Response Force (EARF) in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.
"[Our] mission is robust," Schwesinger said. "We support medical evacuations, disaster relief, humanitarian and airdrop operations into fields that a lot of other aircraft can't normally go."
The Airmen of the 75th EAS are able to get the job done despite the challenges they may face with loading large cargo and having limited cargo handling equipment at off load locations.
"The most rewarding part of my job is [taking care of] the mission," said Senior Airman Dan Cabanas, 75th EAS loadmaster. "Carrying items that people need and bringing them where they need them is pretty rewarding."
With the sense of accomplishment comes adventure.
"My favorite part is seeing the world," Cabanas said. "I never really left my hometown of West Corvina, California prior to joining the Air Force. Since joining, I have traveled a good amount of places. It's amazing."
Since May 2014, the squadron has transported more than 420 tons of cargo and more than 280 personnel to different locations throughout East Africa, supporting the CJTF-HOA mission.
The 75th EAS replaced the previous 52nd EAS.