Approximately 200 airmen and 12 F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 125th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron located at Tulsa Air National Guard Base will deploy to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, mid-October in support of the U.S. Pacific Command Theater Security Package.
The deployment is designed to provide the U.S. Pacific Command with forces capable of a variety of operations, including disaster relief, global situational awareness, combating piracy, active defense and power projection.
The U.S. Air Force routinely deploys force packages of fighters throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region to Guam, Japan and the Republic of Korea to help maintain a deterrent against threats to regional security and stability.
Movement of U.S. Air Force TSPs into the region has been a routine and integral part of U.S. Pacific Command’s force posture since March 2004.
This TSP demonstrates the continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the region and shows a commitment to the U.S.-Japan alliance and the defense of Japan.
According to Lt. Col. Matthew Bertelli, 125th EFS commander, the squadron’s airmen have an outstanding history of support to combatant commands around the world for an array of operations.
“This is the first time the 125th EFS has been tasked to support operations in the Pacific Theater,” Bertelli said. “Our previous 10 deployments were to the Central Command Region in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am confident that these outstanding Oklahoma airmen will bring the needed experience and capability to the theater commander.”
Bertelli said though operating from Okinawa will be a new experience for many, they are trained, ready and eager to test their capabilities in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
“The members of the 125th EFS maintain year round operational readiness,” said Bertelli. “This readiness is the culmination of multiple exercises, deployments, flight training, ancillary training and inspections.”
“I am very enthusiastic to lead these outstanding Oklahoma airmen on a tasking that gives us the opportunity to fully integrate flying operations with our sister services and other allied nations. I’m confident these airmen will represent their state and nation superbly.”