2000 Combat Missions Flown In Theater
Airmen at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan hit a major milestone
this week when they completed their 2,000th combat mission in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom. An EC-130H Compass Call crew
assigned to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing's 41st Expeditionary
Electronic Combat Squadron and deployed from Davis-Monthan Air
Force Base, Ariz., flew the milestone mission, providing direct
support to coalition ground forces in Afghanistan.
The mission was like any other, said Air Force Capt. Kelly
Weber, a Compass Call pilot from Fort Worth.
"It was a very rewarding mission," he said, noting he couldn't
discuss details due to operational security. Often called a
"Super-E" model, some of the EC-130H aircraft are more than 40
years old. The aircraft's electronics disrupt enemy command and
control, and often are used to attack hostile communications.
"We're a small community with a small inventory of aircraft,"
said Air Force Lt. Col. Chris Kirschman, the squadron commander.
"We're 100 percent committed to the mission, and this couldn't get
done without our great maintainers on the ground."
None of the three crewmembers discussing the mission was in the
Air Force on Sept. 11, 2001, and they weren't even aware it was
such a monumental flight.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Ashley House, from Portsmouth, VA, said the
mission was almost routine, as airmen from around the world are in
the skies and on the ground supporting operations here.
The seven-hour mission was "very rewarding," said Air Force 1st
Lt. Lori Brophy, an electronic warfare officer from Raymond, NE.
"[The crewmembers are] very professional, and know what
capabilities we bring to the fight."