Andersen AFB welcomes 69th Exeditionary Bomb Squadron

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mariah Haddenham
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., has arrived to support U.S. Pacific Command's continuous bomber presence here.

Since 2004, members of Andersen Air Force Base have played host to the CBP after Pacific Air Forces began routinely deploying B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress bombers to Guam on a rotational basis. The rotation of bomber aircraft is designed to enhance regional security and demonstrate the United States' commitment to stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

"We will be here for approximately six months, living and working on Andersen (AFB) and conducting missions in the Pacific theater," said Capt. Ryan Loucks, a 69 EBS pilot. "We fly missions to areas all around the Pacific during all hours of the day and night, allowing our allies to see that the B-52s are always here and always ready. This also allows any potential adversaries in the Pacific theater to see that we are always ready to bring long-range combat capability to their doorstep should they action against the United States or our allies."

The environment in Guam, which differs greatly from that of Minot AFB, provides an excellent training opportunity for the 69th EBS.

"Andersen (AFB) really is the ideal environment for training because we have a chance to interact with other branches of the military and other nation's air and ground forces in combat training operations," Loucks said.

This deployment is set apart from others because of the anniversary of the B-52, but also because of the aircrew with the 69th EBS.

"I think this deployment with the 69 thEBS is unique from an aircrew perspective in that we have a very young crew force with us," Loucks said. "The majority of the aircrew have never deployed with the B-52 before, and this is their first opportunity to train for combat operations with the host of assets and other aircraft platforms. This will be a great opportunity for them to 'sharpen the sword' and showcase the B-52 combat capability not only to the Pacific theatre but to other communities in the Air Force and our brothers and sisters in the other services."

The 69th EBS members also plan to be active in the community while on Guam.

"Many members in the 69th EBS will be volunteering in the community and allowing the local people on Guam to see that we are here for not only the betterment of the Pacific theater, but for the island of Guam as well," Loucks said.

Lt. Col. Douglas Gosney, 69 EBS commander, also spoke enthusiastically of the deployment.

"We are excited to be here and look forward to becoming part of Team Andersen and the local community," Gosney said."To that end, the 69th EBS has already logged several hours of volunteer work within the local community and look forward to future efforts during the deployment."

The upcoming months look promising for the 69 EBS in training and deployment experience in an environment unlike any found in the continental US.

"The training opportunities available to us here are incredible, and I'm confident we will leave here as a better trained, more capable, more lethal crew force," Gosney said. "The (members of the 69th EBS) stand ready to execute the mission across the entire spectrum of engagement, be it deterrence, presence, or combat operations."