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Zum Deutschland (To Germany)
TAG at Operation Jump Start

“One of the last good deals in the Guard,” is how Lt. Col. Rick Keasey, Air National Guard Liaison officer, Geilenkirchen, Germany describes a rotation at the NATO airbase. The 108th Air Refueling Wing deployed a contingent of specialists and crew members for their second time in 2007 for two weeks in August.

The past 14 years, air refueling units have come to Geilenkirchen for two-week rotations to fuel the AWACS airplanes that fly from the base.

For 44 weeks a year, Guard units fly one to two flights a day. Outside of a real world emergency, the flights do not fly from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m., nor do they fly on weekends; giving good reason for crews and their maintainers to enjoy their visit to Germany. The trips not only includes pilots and boom operators but also specialists from the many sections that are in the wing such as Avionics, Propulsion, Supply, Fuels, Mission Operations Center (MOC) and crew chiefs.

Senior Master Sgt. George Phillips, a Sortie Generation Supervisor with the 108th came to Geilenkirchen on the wing’s first mission to the NATO base in 1993. He returned a second time in 2005 and was back for his third trip with the wing. Phillips, who has deployed throughout the U.S. and around the world said that many people like to do repeat trips to this NATO base. He added that since there is no night flying, sometimes during the second week of summer deployments, crew and several specialists may fly to a base in Great Britain for a couple days to do night refuelings.

Senior Airman Albert Grice, an avionics specialist was on his second trip to Geilenkirchen. After working on the plane during the week, he was looking forward to taking a trip to several local cities.

“At 23, I have been to most of the countries in Europe,” he said. “Where else could that happen?”



Table of Contents
Volume 33 Number 3 Staff / Information
(c) 2007 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs