Iowa ANG 133rd Test Squadron Airman return home

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
  • 185th Air Refuelin Wing

54 members of the Iowa National Guard’s 133rd Test Squadron from Fort Dodge, Iowa returned home this week after a six month deployment to the Middle East.   During their deployment the Iowa Air Guard members were providing command and control communications for U.S. military and partner nation air operations in the Central Command Theater of Operation.


After 40 hours of travel the Airman returned to the Sioux City Airport on a commercial flight late Wednesday evening where they were met by family members and well-wishers in the unit’s main aircraft hangar.


The majority of those who returned to Sioux City Wednesday are members of Iowa’s 133rd Test Squadron in Ft. Dodge which is a subordinate unit of the Iowa Air Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing located in Sioux City. The group was joined by two members of 185th Security Forces as well as an individual from 185th Logistics Readiness Squadron who also returned home on the same flight.


Family members were waiting patiently in the main hangar as the Airman deplaned and were first greeted by 185th Wing Commander Colonel Larry Christensen and Vice Commander Jim Walker. After a short greeting the Airman eagerly made their way to their family and friends who they have not seen since last fall.


According to Lt. Col. Robin Hosch 133rd Squadron Commander all the Airmen who deployed with her team last fall returned home safely on Wednesday.  Hosch remarked that historically smaller groups of unit members have deployed to region but the size of the group on this deployment is unique.


“This was by far the most amazing deployment for me because we had so many 133rd personal there, it is just fun being with your own group,” said Hosch. “For many in the group this was their first deployment and they really stepped up, it’s just an honor to be their commander,” she added.


185th Air Refueling Wing Commander, Colonel Larry Christensen said the 185th has had small groups and individual unit members deploying almost continuously throughout the past few decades. Christensen said last fall’s Reserve Component (deployment) Period, which included nearly 300 unit members from Sioux City and Fort Dodge, was the largest deployment for the Sioux City based Air Guard unit since their 1968 deployment to Vietnam and Korea.


 “During the past several weeks many 185th unit members have been returning to Iowa the same way they left last fall, in small groups and in many cases one at a time,” said Christensen.

The Reserve Component Period took individual unit members from practically every Air Force Specialty on the base including pilots, aircraft mechanics as well as many who contribute to force support and sustainment like those who returned on Wednesday.

The Airman returning this week are a mix of traditional guard members who will return to their civilian jobs.  Others in the group are full time technicians with the Iowa Guard who plan to return to their jobs with the Guard at their home stations.  

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