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379th flies final sorties in support of OEF

  • Published
  • By SrA Kia Atkins
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Expeditionary Flying Squadrons here flew their last sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Dec. 31.

379th Air Expeditionary Wing units that supported joint missions during the final days of OEF include: B-1 Bomber from the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System from the 7th Expeditionary Airborne Command and Control Squadron, C-130 Hercules from the 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, KC-135 Stratotankers from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron and RC-135 Rivet Joints from the 733rd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron here.

“Today I flew the B-1 Bomber, call sign BONE, which was the last sortie my unit flew in support of Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Capt. Murphey Morgan, 9th EBS aircraft commander, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, “And throughout my four deployments, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to fly during the 10th year anniversary of Sept. 11, over Afghanistan and then today, finishing out the operation.” He added, “The B-1 has been flying in OEF since 2001, so we have been an enduring presence throughout the 13 years, flown more than 12,000 sorties for Operation Enduring Freedom.”

The U.S. led combat operation, which began in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, officially concluded on December 31.

“One of the things I was thinking about as we were hearing all of the New Year celebrations, is that across the world people see New Year’s Day as a new beginning and a new chance to start fresh,” said Maj. Walter Swain 7th EACCS JSTARS mission crew commander. “After 13 years of combat operations in Afghanistan, we see the transition from OEF to Operation’s Freedom’s Sentinel, as a new beginning for us, especially because of the new advisory role, and it’s certainly a new beginning for the Afghan people who have hope for a new beginning and a stronger government.”

The 379th AEW will continue to support Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, the follow-on mission to OEF, which began 1 January, 2015.

“During Operation Enduring Freedom, we supported OEF by providing airpower to our joint and coalition partners,” said Col. Jim Dittus, 379th Expeditionary Operations Group commander, “U.S. footprint on the ground may be smaller, but our airpower need remains.”