A Conveniently Warm Winter Deployment

F-16s of the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Fighter Wing and a KC-135 from the state’s 185th Air Refueling Wing flew to Australia, joining Royal Australian Air Force airmen for exercise Sentry Down Under. Operating from RAAF Base Williamstown in New South Wales, the F-16s will engage RAAF F-18s in dissimilar air-to-air combat training, while the KC-135 provides air refueling support. “We get to fight against F-18s, different pilots, and they’re a very skilled air force,” said 132nd FW commander Col. Drew DeHaes, according to a report from WHO TV 13 of Des Moines, Iowa. The Air Guardsmen began departing their bases in Des Moines and Sioux City on Feb 13 for the three-week exercise. Though this is the first time the Iowans have participated, Williamstown routinely hosts Air Guard units for Sentry. Hawaii’s 199th FW and Oregon’s 173rd FW took part in 2008 and 2009, respectively.