Total force effort to deploy 552nd ACW, support for Operation Odyssey Dawn

  • Published
  • By Nicole Turner
  • Tinker Public Affairs
Several units on Tinker recently pulled together for a mass deployment of troops in less than one week.

"Team Tinker has an "all in" dynamic relationship. Our total force Airmen truly act as one team in their dedication to accomplishing the mission. Because of their outstanding effort, we were able to deploy to the fight in an expeditious and safe manner. We could not have achieved this success without the direct support of our Tinker partners," said Col. John Rauch, 552nd Air Control Wing commander.

On March 19, Airmen from the 552nd Air Control Wing were given orders to deploy in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

"I was very pleased with the support provided by 72nd personnel. From notification until wheels off the ground the 72nd personnel did a fantastic job ensuring we had everything we needed to accomplish our mission," said the deployed commander.

People within the 72nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, 72nd Force Support Squadron, 72nd Medical Group, and many others, worked long days and evenings to ensure the selected troops were ready for the mission.

"It's not just any one person or any one group of people; this was a real mission partner effort by the 72nd Air Base Wing and the 552nd Air Control Wing to get these people deployed in support of Odyssey Dawn," said George Eavenson, installation deployment officer in the 72nd LRS.

Master Sgt. Michele Thornton, superintendent of Installation Personnel Readiness in the 72nd FSS, said they worked around the clock to set up the personnel deployment function line to check eligibility, expiration on I.D. cards and enlistment terms. She said numerous people stayed on the line to help, including legal representatives and the chaplain.

"It's a way that we process individuals by mass numbers," Sergeant Thornton said. "It's all of the base agencies on the line. So instead of Airmen having to go out to them individually, it puts everyone in one area so Airmen can process through and get cleared for deployment."

Others involved in the deployment process included financial reps and medical clinic personnel. The 72nd Medical Group Force Health Management team "really did a wonderful job up front ensuring that all of the Airmen were medically ready to deploy," said Mr. Eavenson.

Sergeant Thornton said it is important that everyone involved was able to see the big picture and know what the end result was -- to get the troops out safely and effectively to help others.

"It's definitely a joint effort," Sergeant Thornton said.

One team really stood out because of their intensive duties of meeting the aircraft and loading the aircraft to prepare for deployment.

"The stars of this whole operation are the air transportation people," Mr. Eavenson said. "All of the hard work is done there. They are the ones who have to load the planes, and they loaded a lot of big equipment. They just got the job done."