PRINCE SULTAN AIR BASE, KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA --
With a roar of their engines, a contingent of F-16CJ Fighting Falcon aircraft from the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th “Swamp Fox” Fighter Wing, joined the Prince Sultan Air Base team this past month.
While their mission here is a defensive one, Swamp Fox personnel offer a sense of additional security and protection to PSAB.
“We’re here to meet the Combined Forces Air Component Commander’s objectives by preserving operational depth, staging forces, and projecting unmatched combat power in the region to deter regional aggressors,” said Lt. Col. William R. Broman III, director of operations, 157th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.
These Guardsmen bring their own unique perspectives to the team and mission.
“We are equipped with a multitude of varied skill sets and proficiencies outside of our military careers,” Broman said.
Other Swamp Fox leaders agreed.
“The citizen Airmen of the South Carolina Air National Guard bring a diverse range of experience from their civilian careers to their military work,” said Senior Master Sgt. Carl Clegg, first sergeant, 157th Expeditionary Fighter Generation Squadron.
While most members of the Swamp Fox team live in South Carolina, some travel for their service from homes and jobs in North Carolina and Georgia, increasing the depth of experience they provide.
“Our members include small business owners, truck drivers, video producers, farmers, commercial airline pilots, police officers, and various other professions,” Clegg said. “These varied perspectives and levels of expertise, beyond what you might expect in a fighter wing, help us accomplish the mission in a comprehensive way.”
The Swamp Fox unit as a whole is not new to deploying. In fact, some personnel have deployed as many as 11 times.
“We have multiple members here who have over 30 years of service and most of that working on or around the F-16 Fighting Falcon airframe,” said Clegg.
There are also many new members who are deploying for the first time.
“While our squadron has deployed in the past, we still have many younger Airmen who have never deployed before,” said Broman. “We’re looking forward to the experience this will provide for several of our newer pilots and enlisted personnel.”
Regardless of how many times they have previously deployed, the consensus is the same across the unit – they are here ready to perform the mission.
“As Air National Guard members, we are enabled to build a lethal and capable force to bolster defensive operations in the region, while also bringing diverse solutions to tackle any challenge.”