ERBIL AIR BASE, Iraq --
The 442nd Air Expeditionary Squadron was officially inactivated June 10, 2021, during a ceremony at Erbil Air Base, Iraq.
“This is not just an inactivation ceremony, this is a ceremony to celebrate the mission success of the 442nd,” said Col. Christopher Clark, commander, 321st Air Expeditionary Group. “The 442nd has a history of being stood up when needed and stood down when the mission is complete.”
While the 442nd AES may be standing down, a new squadron will emerge and will continue to provide key capabilities to the fight. The 443rd Air Expeditionary Squadron will activate out of Al Asad Air Base. The Erbil aerial port and Bashur Airfield fire department will take the reins under the leadership of their commander, Lt. Col. Jermaine Campbell.
“I have had the pleasure to watch your [443rd AES] growth and development.” said Lt. Col. Campbell. “I know we will continue to preserve our mission and I am honored to lead this team.”
The 442nd Air Expeditionary Squadron was activated for the third time on January 17, 2017. Since that time, the squadron supported the fight against Da’esh through agile combat support by moving millions of pounds of cargo and thousands of Joint and Coalition forces and other supporting personnel across the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve area of operations.
Now falling under the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, the 442nd has a special place in history and in the memories of its commander, Col. Henry Triplett.
“The 442nd has been a part of a storied history within the 321st Air Expeditionary Group,” said Col. Triplett, commander, 386th AEW. “When this unit first stood up, there was a sergeant named Francis Claude Alvey assigned as a bomber maintainer to it. He fought with that unit through northern Africa, the invasion of Sicily, then on to Foggia, Italy as the unit pushed towards Rome. That soldier was my grandfather. Griz’s [Col. Clark] team has lived up to the unit’s motto of peace through power and their history will live on.”
The 443rd AES will continue the mission of its predecessor by supporting fixed wing cargo as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. Along with continuing the fight against the Islamic State, the team will ensure U.S. and coalition assets continue to move to and from the battlefield.