HomeNewsArticle Display

Raider Airmen return from deployment

Families await the arrival of their Airmen returning home to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 18, 2018. The 28th Bomb Wing deployed B-1s, Airmen and support equipment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, to fly missions in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Denise M. Jenson)

Families await the arrival of their Airmen returning home to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 18, 2018. The 28th Bomb Wing deployed B-1s, Airmen and support equipment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, to fly missions in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Denise M. Jenson)

Senior Airman Michael Cardines, a 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft maintenance journeyman, hugs his family after returning home to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., from a six-month deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Sept. 18, 2018. During the deployment, Ellsworth AFB aircrews provided theater commanders with critical long-range strike capability, persistent presence, large diverse weapons payload and organic sensors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Denise M. Jenson)

Senior Airman Michael Cardines, a 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft maintenance journeyman, hugs his family after returning home to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., from a six-month deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Sept. 18, 2018. During the deployment, Ellsworth AFB aircrews provided theater commanders with critical long-range strike capability, persistent presence, large diverse weapons payload and organic sensors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Denise M. Jenson)

Master Sgt. Steven Graff, the 28th Maintenance Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of egress, hugs his family as he lands back at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., after a six-month deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Sept. 18, 2018. The 28th Bomb Wing deployed B-1s, Airmen and support equipment to fly missions in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Denise M. Jenson)

Master Sgt. Steven Graff, the 28th Maintenance Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of egress, hugs his family as he lands back at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., after a six-month deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Sept. 18, 2018. The 28th Bomb Wing deployed B-1s, Airmen and support equipment to fly missions in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Denise M. Jenson)

The family of Master Sgt. Matthew Timm, the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of loading, holds up signs as they await his return from a six-month deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Sept. 18, 2018. During the deployment, Ellsworth AFB aircrews provided theater commanders with critical long-range strike capability, persistent presence, large diverse weapons payload and organic sensors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Denise M. Jenson)

The family of Master Sgt. Matthew Timm, the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of loading, holds up signs as they await his return from a six-month deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Sept. 18, 2018. During the deployment, Ellsworth AFB aircrews provided theater commanders with critical long-range strike capability, persistent presence, large diverse weapons payload and organic sensors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Denise M. Jenson)

Families from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., await the return of their Airmen from a deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Sept. 18, 2018. During their deployment, aircrews provided critical air presence, precision strike, and surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to support military objectives in the area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Denise M. Jenson)

Families from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., await the return of their Airmen from a deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Sept. 18, 2018. During their deployment, aircrews provided critical air presence, precision strike, and surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to support military objectives in the area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Denise M. Jenson)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Sept. 18 celebrates the day the Air Force became a separate branch of the military. In the midst of honoring Air Force heritage, Ellsworth families had another reason to celebrate: approximately 350 Airmen returned home from a six-month deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, supporting Operations Freedom Sentinel and Inherent Resolve.

During their deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, aircrews from the 28th Bomb Wing provided critical air presence, precision strike and surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to support military objectives in the area.

With more than 200 sorties flown, this deployment showcased the wing’s commitment to providing airpower anytime, anywhere.

“Our mission was twofold, supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, which was the eradication of ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Griffith, the 34th Bomb Squadron commander. “There was also Operation Freedom Sentinel, which is the eradication of the Taliban and the support of the Afghan government to take on the roles and responsibilities of their government, so they can defend themselves.”

Constant training and exercises, such as Red Flag at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and operational readiness exercises at the 34th BS home station of Ellsworth AFB, ensured the Airmen’s skills were ready for deployment.

For deployments, there’s a lot that goes in to building a training plan to get all the maintainers and aircrew ready to go, Griffith said.

After all the training and subsequent missions downrange – spending months away from home and working long shifts – the 34th BS Airmen were welcomed back to Ellsworth AFB by a crowd of family and friends.

“Getting off the airplane is one of the most memorable experiences that you’ll ever have,” Griffith said. “Being gone from your family for six months and walking off the plane, seeing them out there to greet you and seeing the joy in their eyes, it’s just one of those feelings you’re never going to forget.”

Base Guide/Phone Book
Commander's Action Line
Helping Agencies
Newcomers
Powder River Training Complex
Road and Weather
Public Affairs