HIANG air crews return from southwest asia deployment

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Orlando Corpuz
  • 154 Wing Public Affairs
More than 50 Hawaii Air National Guard members and three KC-135 Stratotankers from the HIANG 203rd Air Refueling Squadron returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam June 16 and 20 following a deployment to Southwest Asia.

The airmen were deployed for four months in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

Homecoming began when one group of airman and one tanker arrived here June 16, and June 20 marked the full celebration as the remaining airmen and tankers arrived home to JBPHH. 

The airmen were greeted in the Hawaiian sunshine by family, friends, and the 154th Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Gregory Woodrow.

"It's great to have our Airmen home, they represented the HIANG and the Nation with honor and distinction." said Woodrow. "I consistently get incredibly positive feedback on the professionalism and Aloha our members bring to the fight.  Way to represent while serving the Nation's call!"

HIANG's 203rd Air Refueling Squadron, along with flight and maintenance crews and other support personnel from the 154th Wing were part of an 18-nation air coalition engaged in the fight against Daesh or ISIS. 

Aerial refueling makes it possible to extend the range and persistence of coalition air operations in Iraq and Syria, enabling the United States and coalition aircraft to maintain a 24/7 presence over areas of Daesh operations. The air presence protects at risk targets from falling into the hands of Daesh.

The 203rd ARS has deployed to the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility numerous times. This latest deployment was part of an Air Expeditionary Force rotation.