Badgers Head to Okinawa

A dozen Wisconsin Air National Guard F-16s are deploying to Kadena AB, Japan, this month as part of a theater security package to augment Pacific Air Forces, unit officials announced. “We are the first ANG F-16 unit to be stationed at Kadena” as part of a TSP, 176th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron deployed commander Lt. Col. Jon Kalberer stated in a Jan. 6 release. Personnel and aircraft from other Guard units are backfilling the Madison-based 115th Fighter Wing to allow the unit to continue its round the clock stateside Aerospace Control Alert mission. “We have taken steps to ensure that we can simultaneously execute both PACOM and ACA mission taskings,” said alert detachment commander Lt. Col. Matthew Peltier. Approximately 250 pilots, maintenance, and support personnel are deploying to Okinawa with the jets, according to the release. ANG F-16s from the District of Columbia and New Jersey completed a similar deployment to South Korea and Australia last October.