More Than Five Thousand Days

Airmen from the 17th Special Tactics Squadron at Fort Benning, Ga., have been involved in operations in Southwest Asia for more than 5,000 days straight—nearly 14 years, according to a release. They reached the 5,000th-day milestone on June 27, states the release. “Their unmatched commitment and contribution has been astounding,” said CMSgt. Jason Quesenberry, a Silver Star recipient who is currently assigned to the 1st Air Support Operations Group at JB Lewis-McChord, Wash. “Five thousand days continuously deployed is amazing for such a small unit. … They bring an entirely new level of air power expertise to the ground force,” he said. The squadron sent members to Afghanistan in October 2001, a month after the 9/11 terror attacks. Airmen from the unit also operated in Iraq during the war there. The 17th STS consists of Tactical Air Control Party airmen who direct combat aircraft providing close air support to ground forces. These airmen operate with soldiers of the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment. Members of the squadron have received more than 80 medals for valor in combat since 9/11, according to the release.