One Deployment, 10K Hours

The 75th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, an A-10 unit deployed from Moody AFB, Ga., has surpassed 10,000 combat flying hours in a single rotation to Afghanistan. The unit’s commander, Lt. Col. Sam Milam, and Col. Raymond Strasburger, commander of the 455th Expeditionary Operations Group at Bagram Air Base, flew the milestone close air support sortie on Feb. 24. Milam noted that the squadron flew the 10,000 hours with less than a full complement of aircraft and did it in six months’ time, reflecting the surge in daily sorties in Afghan operations. He said the milestone was “a manifestation of a great operations and maintenance team.” Among those greeting Milam and Strasburger on their return was Pennsylvania National Guardsman Lt. Col. George Chizmar, who currently leads the ground liaison detachment at Bagram and who said, “Close air support is absolutely critical in the execution of ground operations throughout Afghanistan.” Chizmar declared CAS “an enormous force multiplier” that “offers the ground force commander a wide spectrum of response options in a precise and timely manner.” (Bagram report by SSgt. Jason Lake)