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NEWS | Jan. 8, 2014

15th AS Airmen return from deployment

By 15th Airlift Squadron

More than 80 Airmen from the 15 Airlift Squadron returned to Joint Base Charleston, Jan. 6, 2013, after a successful two-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Airmen conducted combat operations in support of OEF while deployed with the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron.

"To date, the 15th AS has flown more than 600 sorties, accumulating 1,500 flight hours delivering 20 million pounds of cargo to include: 400 vehicles, 2,000 pallets and 14,000 passengers into and out of 32 airfields in the Area of Operations," said 1st Lt. Jason Gossett, 15th Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III pilot.

In addition, the squadron conducted the first C-17 airdrop at a new drop zone in the AOR, delivering 34 bundles of supplies weighing 51,000 pounds. The unit also logged more than 3,500 hours of alert for contingency response.

"While we were deployed we also provided Secretary of Defense support during his recent visit to the AOR," said Gossett.

Additionally, during a five-day period, two 15th AS crews flew 33 sorties; airlifting 532 passengers, 23 vehicles and 51 pallets totaling 855,100 pounds in support of Operation ECHO CASEMATE, supporting Africa Command by transporting Burundi peace-keeping forces and their equipment to the Central African Republic to help prevent the spread of sectarian violence and protect innocent civilians in the country.

"It has been challenging for the squadron to be away during the holiday season, but the talents and professionalism of the members of the 15th AS greatly enhanced the mission of the 437th Airlift Wing and OEF," said Gossett.