A group of airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing recently returned home to JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., from Gabon in West Africa, after helping deliver more than 450,000 pounds of equipment to Bangui, according to a press release. Gabon’s military was asked to deliver equipment to Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, as part of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission, and the 621st CRW was called in to help. After Lt. Col. Michael Sheldon, an air mobility liaison officer attached to US Army Africa/Southern European Task Force, along with a small team of airmen in Gabon for a planning conference, inspected the materials and coordinated with Air Mobility Command to schedule the C-17, another 621st CRS team worked with French and Gabonese forces to load the equipment onto the plane. “The mission was important in our ability to make an outsized contribution to the larger goals of the US government in Africa,” Sheldon said. “Besides helping a partner nation contribute to an important peacekeeping mission, we helped elevate an important African ally.”
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.