F-16s and KC-135s Return to Europe After African Deployment

Airmen, F-16s, and KC-135s returned to Europe earlier this month after a seven-month rotation to Africa that was requested to help protect American interests in South Sudan. The airmen, along with F-16s from the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano AB, Italy, and KC-135s from the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England, returned to their home bases earlier this month, according to a US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa news release. The airmen and aircraft deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, in July after the Department of State and the US Ambassador in Juba, South Sudan, requested military assistance as a “precautionary measure” to protect Americans and US interests from “violent unrest and the possibility of threats in South Sudan,” the release states. Air Force assets have been called on before in response to violent outbreaks in that country. In 2013, a USAF CV-22 Osprey was hit by small arms fire while evacuating Americans from the US Embassy. (See Blood Over Bor from the October 2015 issue of Air Force Magazine.)