MSgt. Clifford C. Hughes in May surpassed 400 combat missions as a flight engineer. He currently serves with the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, a KC-10 tanker unit operating from an air base in Southwest Asia as part of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. He reached the mission milestone May 21 during an air refueling sortie supporting operations in Afghanistan. “I have a lot to be thankful for and to be proud of and also to try to remember to receive each day as a gift,” said Hughes, whose hometown is Goshen, Ohio. Prior to flying in KC-10s, Hughes was a MH-53 Pave Low helicopter flight engineer. He is deployed from the 2nd Air Refueling Squadron at JB McGuire, N.J. This is his fifth deployment with a KC-10 unit and 11th overseas tour overall. (380th AEW report by MSgt. Scott T. Sturkol)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.