Airmen at Minot Air Base return from Qatar
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, ND – After 240 combat missions and more than 3,100 flight hours logged, Minot Air Force Base welcomed returning military personnel to the United States early Monday morning.
Their return with six B-52H Stratofortesses from the 23rd Bombardment Squadron marks the end of Minot’s involvement in the long war in Afghanistan.
Exactly 300 servicemen have returned to American soil and into the arms of their families, having been stationed at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar since April.
Colonel Michael Maginness, 5th Bomb Wing Vice Commander, joined their loved ones in welcoming them home.
âEveryone was in a good mood, they were proud of the work they had done, their families were proud to have been there and doing what they needed to under some pretty difficult circumstances,â Maginness said.
Beginning in October 2001, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, base B-52s were deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The planes were involved in critical flight missions providing the bombers and air support needed to capture Kabul from the Taliban.
Now these fired planes and personnel are part of a larger effort to reallocate military resources.
“This deployment was part of what we call the Bomber Working Group, and the Bomber Working Group is a build that allows us to deploy and redeploy quickly wherever our country needs us across. the world, âMaginness said.
Maginness said these airmen will be able to get some well-deserved R&R, before resuming training to prepare for their next assignments.
Maginness added that the B52s were among the first planes to park for Operation Enduring Freedom, and said it was appropriate for the men and women of the 5th Bomb Wing to participate in supporting the final stages of the evacuation. from Afghanistan more than 20 years later.
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