Editor’s Note: Photos of the arrival are included below.
On Tuesday, the 179th Airlift Wing returned to Mansfield via a C-130H Hercules. The unit had spent a month supporting Operation Flintlock in Africa, an annual regional exercise among African, allied and U.S. counterterrorism forces.
A majority of the members are from the 164th Airlift Squadron and flew the C-130H Hercules aircraft as part of the exercise.
The Ohio Air National Guard unit joined multiple nations across the Sahel region of Africa. Last year’s exercise saw more than 30 nations participate in the exercise. Flintlock is directed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and sponsored by U.S. Africa Command.
The exercise develops capacity and collaboration among African security forces to protect civilian populations. Exercise Flintlock is designed to foster regional cooperation to enable African partners to stabilize regions of North and West Africa, while reducing sanctuary and support for violent extremist organizations. Flintlock provides increased interoperability, counterterrorism and combat skills training while creating a venue for regional engagement among partner nations.
The primary mission for the 179th AW during the exercise was to assist with transferring equipment, supplies and personnel throughout the area.
The photos below show the unit’s arrival back home in Ohio (click any picture for a larger version). Welcome home, and thank you!
Source: 179th Airlift Wing Public Affairs; Photos: Public Domain by Tech. Sgt. Joe Harwood