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100th EFS redeploys back to Alabama

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards
  • 407th Air Expeditionary Group
The 100th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron redeployed from the 407th Air Expeditionary Group in Southwest Asia beginning Jan. 20.

This marks the end of a three month deployment that started in October.

“Our mission has been to execute combat air power for Operation Inherent Resolve, primarily in the close-air support and defensive counter-air roles,” said Lt. Col. Edward Casey, 100th EFS Commander. “It was an incredible honor to be able to lead this squadron in such an important mission. Lt. Col. Mike McGinn paved the way for us on the first half of the deployment and I had the privilege of taking us over the finish line. I actually got to fly my last mission on our last day on the air tasking order. It really hit me on the way back to the base what an amazing blessing this deployment has been and getting to lead an unbelievably capable group of Airmen.”

During their time at the 407th AEG, the 100th EFS brought the fight to ISIS.

“It was incredibly gratifying to be able to roll back ISIS to a shell of its former self,” said Casey. “We had some very dynamic and challenging missions and all of our pilots performed superbly. By supporting our partnered forces on the ground, over the course of our deployment we saw ISIS continue to lose its grip on more and more territory to where they currently only occupy a few villages in the Middle Euphrates River Valley. The Operation Inherent Resolve coalition will continue to roll them back and we're all very proud that we got to be a part of that.”

The 407th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron ensured the aircraft were maintained, so the pilots could complete their mission.

“Over the course of 90 consecutive flying days, our maintainers provided quality fully mission capable aircraft 24 hours per day, seven days per week,” said Lt. Col. Jason Sander, 407th EMXS commander. “Our unit never took a day off from flying. We never cancelled a line for maintenance. Their exceptional professionalism enabled the employment of 105 bombs and 651 rounds of 20mm. I am proud of the great attitudes that I saw and the exceptional work these maintainers performed. Without their extensive knowledge, dedication and professionalism, our pilots would not have been able to employ their weapons system against ISIS.”

The week-long process of redeployment ensured that all of the 100th EFS’s approximately 300 members made it back to their home station Dannelly Field, Alabama.

The 100th FS’s mission will continue, but will evolve as they change from the F-16 over to the F-35 Lightning II.

“The F-35 is an incredible airplane that will continue the Red Tail legacy well into the future,” said Casey. “Converting our maintenance force as well as our operators to the F-35 will take time, and as F-16 operations wind down and F-35 operations start taking shape, we'll be spinning a lot of plates. The good news is, converting to a different aircraft is a fairly well-worn path in the Air Force and we'll have a lot of help from the National Guard Bureau and Air Combat Command.”