15th Airlift Squadron returns after 4-month deployment in Middle East

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The 15th Airlift Squadron returned to Joint Base Charleston Sunday after its 120-day deployment in the Middle East. Service men and women were reunited with their loves ones.

The Airmen served under the 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, which includes several detachments throughout Eurasia and Middle East, conducting airlift, airdrop and aeromedical evacuation missions daily to provide direct support to the warfighter.

Flying the C-17 Globemaster III, the 15 AS Airmen flew roughly 3,500 sorties and airlifted more than 125 million pounds of cargo throughout the area of responsibility.

"We moved more than 195,000 Airmen, Soldier, Sailors, Marines and distinguished visitors throughout Southwest Asia, successfully meeting the President's directed drawdown of troops in Iraq on time and met the deadline for the Operation Enduring Freedom surge," said Lt. Col. Rebecca Sonkiss, 15 AS commander.

During the deployment, the 15 AS also provided immediate support to flood ravaged Pakistan; delivering more than 2.5 million pounds of aid while continuing the non-stop support of missions downrange.

The C-17 is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force and is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The inherent flexibility and performance of the C-17 force improves the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirement of the United States.

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