Utah KC-135s Deploy to the Middle East

Utah Air National Guard KC-135s and Airmen deployed to the Middle East on April 5-6 to support combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

The four KC-135s and 120 Airmen from the 151st Air Refueling Wing will support Operation Inherent Resolve—the ongoing fight against the Islamic State group, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan, and Spartan Shield—the overall U.S. mission in Southwest Asia.

As part of a new KC-135 and C-130 deployment model, the 151st Maintenance Group is deploying as one overall group as opposed to a combined deployed group of Airmen from different units, according to a Utah Air National Guard release.

Air Mobility Command in 2019 adopted the deployment model of sending whole units to promote cohesion and ensure better predictability.

“Going as a group, we can take care of our people,” said Master Sgt. Roger Tyler, superintendent of the unit, in the release. “We know who our people are, and we’ll be able to recognize when someone is stressed or going through a difficult time while being away from their families. Our Airmen are more likely to open up and have difficult conversations because familiar faces will surround them.”