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Press Release
July 19, 2007
Security Forces Airman get ready for deployment
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – More than 30 Airmen from the 173rd Security Forces Squadron located at Kingsley Field will mobilize Friday for a six month deployment to Manas Airbase, Kyrgyzstan in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM.

This deployment marks the largest contingent of Airmen from Kingsley Field to deploy in support of the War on Terror.

"We were notified of this deployment over five months ago," said Capt Fred Testa, 173rd SFS commander. "Our primary mission will include maintaining internal and external base security. We will also conduct additional missions in theater as we are tasked".

Manas AB serves as a staging point for United States and other coalition aircraft, particularly for Afghanistan. The base mainly supports US KC-135 and KC-10 refueling aircraft.

It is the first time that a group this large has been deployed from the 173rd SFS. According to Capt Testa it is also the first time that the squadron leadership will accompany the group on a deployment. "Normally we send smaller teams over to the AOR (Area Of Responsibility), however in this particular case the active duty Air Force needed a larger team to support the mission."

"It is certainly a benefit to deploy with the people who we work and train with on a daily basis," said Chief Master Sgt Robert Petchell, 173 SFS Manager. "We work well together here, so I know that we will work well together over there."

The Airmen from the 173rd SFS will be combined with other Security Forces units to total over a hundred-eighty member deployment. Ninety-five percent of the security forces in this deployment are members of the Air National Guard from various states.

The group will leave from Kingsley Field later this week for a training course at Fort Bliss, Texas. From there they will leave for Kyrgyzstan where they will spend at least six months there performing their mission.
Contact Info:
EDITOR'S NOTE: There will be a formal send off for the group Friday, July 20 at the base theater starting at 10 a.m. For media interested in attending please contact Capt Lucas Ritter at 541-885-6198 to gain entry to the base.