Approximately 33 US active duty military, reservists, and civilians have returned from African Lion 2006 in the Sahara desert, where they performed medical services and humanitarian visits for more than 9,400 Moroccans. “I left a piece of my heart in Morocco,” says Air Force Capt. Alvin Barber, adding, “The people were the most grateful I have ever seen.” Barber is a physician assistant with the 435th Medical Squadron, Ramstein AB, Germany. During African Lion, the US medics worked with the Moroccan military and saw an average of 1,300 patients per day.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.