32nd deploys to Manas, Kyrgyzstan
By Tech. Sgt. Jessica Benigni, 911th Public Affairs
/ Published March 30, 2006
PITTSBURGH AIR RESERVE STATION, Pa. -- The 32nd Aerial Port Squadron deployed 21 Airmen to Manas, Kyrgyzstan in early January. This deployment is unique because Manas is one of four locations chosen by the 22nd Air Force, as opposed to a location being assigned to the squadron. Most deployments, Airmen don’t have a choice in where they go, however this one is unique for that reason.
The 32nd APS combines with the 27th Aerial Port from Minneapolis, Minn., and members from Niagara and Dobbins, Ga., totaling 58 reservists. Another unique aspect is that no active duty personnel are participating in this operation.
Airmen of the 32nd APS conducted training in self- aid and buddy care, chemical warfare, CPR, weapons and flight line training in preparation for their deployment. They will be in-country for approximately 120 days, and when their tour is complete and they return home, 20 more Airmen from the 32nd will deploy to Manas. This will repeat over the next year.
“We’re basically going to own Manas Airbase for one year,” said 2nd Lt. Jonathan Greer, 32nd Aerial Port Squadron’s officer in charge.
Some members of the 32nd just returned from a deployment consisting of several months spent rotating between Germany, Kuwait and the states. Eleven of these Airmen deployed again in January to Manas.
Second Lt. Greer said, “It’s exciting to get the opportunity to do this mission, but it’s not so exciting leaving family behind of course. This is a very exciting mission however, because we’re making history. As reservists, we don’t often get the pats on the backs we deserve like active duty Airmen do. Since there are no active duty personnel participating in this operation, we have an opportunity to show we are just as good, if not better than them.”
At home at the 911th, the 32nd APS’s job is mainly to pack parachutes. Greer said the deployment to Manas will have the squadron moving passengers, equipment, Hazmat, cargo and mail on board C130s, C5s, C17s and commercial aircraft.
“Our mission is to re-supply Afghanistan,” said Greer. “We also move distinguished visitors and media.”
Airmen of the 32nd APS said they are glad to have been home for the holidays, and though they are sorry to have to leave again, are excited about this unique historical deployment.