Base tries out new role as regional staging area for deployers

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Eugene Bird
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
"We've been up almost 24 hours now," said deploying 97th Security Forces Squadron member Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Joy early Tuesday morning. 

Another 24 hours of travel awaited the 26 other Airmen, all security personnel except for one communications officer, troop commander 1st Lt. Rowel Canda. 

"We are going to Kuwait. They have four types of duties: convoy, fly-away, base, and hotel security," said Sergeant Joy. 

"Fly-away security is essentially one or two Defenders boarding an aircraft, going wherever it is going and coming out to perform security while aircrews off-load or remain overnight," he said. 

Half of the security forces at the deployment facility Tuesday were from Sheppard Air Force Base. 

According to Lt. Col. Daniel Pacheco, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander, Altus may become a regional staging area for some Air Force deployments originating at Vance, Tinker, Altus, Sheppard and Dyess Air Force Bases. 

"We'll ship people out from here instead of having them ride in a bus all the way down to San Antonio or being individually sent to [Will Rogers Airport in] Oklahoma City.

Young and old 

"There is definitely some youth on the aircraft; however, there are only two individuals here who have not been deployed," said Sergeant Joy. 

"Many have three to five deployments under their belt, so there is definitely experience there. They've 'been there, done that,'" he said.