405th Air Expeditionary Wing
As of April 2002 Brig. Gen. Wendell Griffin was the 405th Air Expeditionary Wing commander. Col. Wendell Griffin was the 7th Bomb Wing commander at Dyess AFB during 2001. Six B-52 Stratofortress aircraft arrived at Royal Air Force Fairford 11 October 1998 from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., to support possible NATO contingency operations in Kosovo. About 260 U.S. airmen have also deployed to support the B-52s, under Col. Wendell Griffin, 2nd Expeditionary Operations Group commander.
A total of eight B-1Bs (of the 28th AEW) were based at Diego Garcia until mid-December 2001. The 28th AEW was moved out of Diego Garcia in mid-December and relocated at a base closer to Afghanistan. USAF documents post-1st January refer to the 405th AEW and all photos show a desert-like surrounding. This seemed to indicate that the B-1Bs were part of the 405th AEW operating from Oman, possibly at Masirah or Musnana'h.
B-1 Lancer number 86-123 was the first aircraft flown in combat featuring the "Let's Roll!" nose art. The nose art commemorates the victims and heroes of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer made the phrase famous when he called it out before passengers charged the terrorists. They were credited with stopping the terrorist plot to attack a fourth target.
Air Force RJ-135 maintenance personnel from the 405th Air Expeditionary Wing cheered on their aircraft as it left for a mission. In early January 2002 a chartered Ukrainian AN-225 Mriya, the largest aircraft in the world, brings supplies to the 405th Air Expeditionary Wing during Operation Enduring Freedom.
New York Air National Guard's 107th Air Refueling Wing of Niagara Falls has contributed to America's war efforts from Vietnam through Operations Desert Storm and Northern Watch. The 107th arrived 29 May 2002 and flew their first sortie June 1. Most personnel were deployed anywhere from 45 days to six months. Between June 1 and July 11, the 107th crews had flown more than 115 sorties and logged more than 700 flight hours. The unit has also offloaded more than 5,000,000 pounds of fuel. The 107th and 168th deployed in a lead-follow role. During the first half of the deployment, the 107th is the lead unit providing the majority of aircraft and personnel. Halfway through responsibilities, they will swap with the 168th assuming the lead role and the 107th providing support.
During the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedoms "Shock and Awe," the 405th launched 10 aircraft and struck all their 240 planned targets with Global Positioning System-guided JDAMS 2,000-pound bombs. Since then, the wing conducted almost daily bombing missions as well as responding to calls for close air support from ground units. The unit had been deployed since October and had been supporting operations on three fronts at once -- the Horn of Africa, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
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