MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, ND, UNITED STATES, –
More than 400 Airmen from the 5th Bomb Wing recently deployed to the Middle East, in support of U.S. Central Command’s Operation Inherent Resolve. The 23rd Bomb Squadron sent a number of B-52H Stratofortresses to take over day-to-day operations, which will be the first time in 12 years aircraft from the base have deployed in support of combat operations.
According to Capt. Erik Nelson, 23rd BS B-Flight commander, the squadron underwent an intensive spin-up plan prior to this deployment. They also capitalized on lessons about executing the mission, which they learned from the 20th and 96th Bomb Squadrons who have, and are currently deployed to the U.S. CENTCOM area of responsibility.
“I couldn’t think of a better squadron to deploy with,” said Nelson, who will fly combat operations for the first time. “I think I can speak for the entire squadron when I say we are well-prepared and ready.”
The 23rd will lead the 5th BW, flying combat operations out of the Middle East.
“The Bomber Barons are 100 percent ready,” said Lt. Col. Michael Maginness, 23rd BS commander. “They are experts in the mission sets that they can expect to execute downrange.”
According to Maginness, during this deployment, the 23rd BS will celebrate their hundredth anniversary.
“One of the greatest honors I can think of is serving your country in combat,” said Maginness. “I can think of no better way to cross the century mark, than answering our nation’s call – as the 23rd has been doing since 1917.”
Airmen deploy to assure allies, deter adversaries and defeat our enemies, and in the face of ever-increasing threats, Team Minot Airmen and aircraft can strike any enemy on short notice anywhere in the world.
“This is another historic deployment for the 5th Bomb Wing,” said Col. Matthew Brooks, 5th Bomb Wing commander. “I am proud of our Airmen and have the utmost faith in their ability to proudly, confidently and professionally execute this important mission.”