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AFCENT commander visits Bagram Airmen

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Rito Smith
  • 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Airmen assigned to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram recently had the opportunity to share their mission with Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, during a visit Oct. 28-29.


Guastella met with several Airmen and discussed their deployment experiences, some of the improvements they have made within the wing, and how they are supporting the overall mission. He coined Airmen who were identified as outstanding performers during their deployment and encouraged them to keep up the great work.


“There are few missions more inspirational than what you guys do at Bagram,” Guastella said. “Your team is at the tip of the spear, seamlessly getting the mission done!”


The visit included stops at several 455th AEW facilities including the recently dedicated Chapman Passenger Terminal, named after fallen hero and Medal of Honor Recipient Tech. Sgt. John Chapman; Pike’s Park, the newest recreational facility on base; the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron; and the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. 


Guastella received a variety of mission briefings and demonstrations, including a hands-on demo with the 455th ESFS’s DroneDefender, a directed-energy device used to safely disable unmanned aerial systems.


“It’s always an honor to meet people who have made an impact in the Air Force, but it was really cool to meet and be recognized by the AFCENT commander,” said Senior Airman Aaron Thalmann, a quick response force Airman assigned to the 455th ESFS who demonstrated the capability to the general. “It was truly awesome at my level to be recognized by the general for my work during this deployment.”

Guastella also met with NATO partners, including Czech armed forces personnel, to learn about how they defend and support the base, as well as how the AFCENT forces can support them.


“You protect one of the most important parts of this base: the flightline,” Guastella told Czech partners. “I rest well at night knowing guys like you are helping protect our nations.”