NAVAL AIR STATION FORT WORTH JOINT RESERVE BASE, Texas --
The 301st Fighter Wing officially ended its Theater Security Package 19.1 deployment in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve at Campia Turzii, Romania last month.
The wing spent nearly 100 days in theater participating in multiple readiness exercises alongside North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies and partners. Their goal was to strengthen interoperability and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the stability and security of Europe.
457th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Maintenance Officer in Charge Capt. Matthew Poe stressed how the strategic planning done prior to operating on a foreign base played a major part in the wing’s success.
“Before we ever stepped foot on the base, a lot of forethought and hard work went into the planning. [Knowing] we were going to be operating in a different area of responsibility with very little support available paid off during the execution of the deployment,” Poe said. “We flew 493 hours and 443 sorties with our mission capable rate at an outstanding 87.3% over those three months. If the jets had [any potential] issues, our extremely hard working maintainers fixed them quickly with 87.5% of our fighters being back to mission capable status within 12 hours.”
Deployments allow Airmen an opportunity to incorporate the training they’ve learned at home station and use it to gain professional experience.
Training helped out immensely, from working to rectify a maintenance problem, to learning the importance of initiative, or just overall knowledge about the jet, 301st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Avionics Technician and first time deployer Airman First Class Dalton West said.
During the three-month deployment, 301st Fighter Wing Commander Col. Mitchell Hanson had the opportunity to physically see the training missions and other work of his deployed personnel during a visit to Romania.
“Ops and maintenance did a great job while in Romania and literally knocked this out of the park,” said Hanson. “Our aircraft maintenance folks kept the jets ready to fly and our pilots did a great job completing their missions, many times flying against the Romanians in their MIG-21’s and the Italians in the Eurofighter Typhoon.”
The wing also worked with the host nation to fix runways and taxi-ways.
“I am extremely proud of the job the entire wing did getting ready for the deployment, the execution of the TSP, and the work that has happened for the re-deployment,” Hanson said. “It wasn’t just the ops and maintenance groups, it’s was the 301st Medical Squadron, Logistic Readiness Squadron, and other units that pitched in to make this a success.”
Missions like these allow the Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 301st Fighter Wing to accomplish its mission – to train and deploy combat-ready Airmen.
“Like I discussed with the wing before this deployment, this was much more than a temporary duty or TDY. This was the Department of State sending its best to represent not only the U.S. Air Force but the entire United States,” said Hanson. “We showcased our strengths on the ground and in the air and I’m proud of what we accomplished but not surprised at the results. Our leaders did a great job not only of taking care of the mission but also a great job of taking care of our people.”