190th Air Refueling Wing

A portion of the 190th Air Refueling Wing deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, on July 9, 1999, in support of Operation Northern Watch, which was designed to enforce the “no fly” zone over northern Iraq.  Several crews were rotated into this mission over the next several months.

In 2000, over 250 members of the 190th participated in Operation Deliberate Forge, a round-the-clock refueling mission over Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Part of their mission involved refueling of F-18’s from the USS George Washington.

The unit again deployed in mid-March, 2003, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  More than 100 members and the unit were involved in supporting air refueling operations in and around southwest Asia, in support of ground combat in Iraq.  The unit’s personnel and aircraft returned to Forbes Field on Apr. 27, 2003.

Over 200 members and seven KC-135 tankers of the 190th Air Refueling Wing, Kansas Air National Guard, deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom during the months of January, February, and March 2004.  While deployed, the 190th transferred more than 2 million pounds of fuel to a variety of aircraft flying in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan.  They were replaced by the Alaska Air National Guard in March of 2004.

Over 200 members and their tankers from the 190th Air Refueling Wing deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam on Oct. 1, 2005 to support Pacific Air Forces Tanker Task Force.  The mission also included a short-notice search and rescue mission more than 700 miles west of Guam, when a Japanese fisherman had been reported overboard.

The 190th Civil Engineering Flight deployed 35 members to Iraq, departing on May 7, 2005.  Their job was to maintain military facilities in the Iraqi theater, providing electrical work, heating and air conditioning maintenance, airport lighting, and other tasks.  Four members also deployed to Qatar to provide base maintenance.

Seventeen members of the 190th Air Refueling Wing Security Forces returned to Forbes Field, Topeka, on June 7, 2006 following a six month deployment to Afghanistan.  While there, they worked jointly with Army, Navy, and Marine counterparts and were responsible for the security and care of hundreds of enemy combatants.  They also participated in Mobile Training Teams, which traveled to forward operating bases to train soldiers in the field on the proper handling and care of enemy combatants.  A third role was to assist the government of Afghanistan in preparing for prosecution of criminals within their legal system.

The 190th Medical Group, Forbes Field, Topeka, deployed to El Salvador in March, 2006.  There were sent on a humanitarian mission to provide medical care for the Salvadorans.  During the eight days they were there, they saw nearly 500 patients a day.  Immunizations and preventive medicine briefings were a part of each visit.

In June, 2006, the 190th Air Refueling Wing sent two KC-135 tankers and crews to Egypt, to assist Egyptian pilots with refueling procedures.  Because the Egyptian Air Force had no tankers of its own, it was essential that the pilots have experience with air refueling.  Operating out of Cairo International Airport, the 190th tankers safely managed 352 receivers on 26 sorties, with approximately 1,100 contacts.

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24th Medical Company

In February, 1997, the 24th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) deployed to Bosnia, with a short stopover at Ft. Benning, Georgia.  Their four helicopters were “shrink-wrapped” for the long journey.  As part of Operation Joint Endeavor, their mission was to provide air medical evacuation support and emergency movement of medical supplies, including whole blood and blood products.

On March 9, the soldiers arrived in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and commenced their mission.  At first missions were scarce, but when the air space was cleared their missions increased.  After a seven-month deployment, the unit returned to Forbes Field, Topeka.
Detachment 1, 24th Medical Company deployed to Kosovo on March 16, 2003, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, to provide medical support for the 38th Infantry Division deployed there.   The unit returned on Feb. 24, 2004.  During their period of duty, they flew over 1,700 accident-free miles, and were involved in treating over 4,000 military and civilian patients.

On Oct.12, 2003 a second rotation of soldiers from Detachment 1, 24th Medical Company were mobilized for Operation Enduring Freedom in Kosovo.  This time a contingent of 20 soldiers was required.  They returned in 2004.

Eleven soldiers of Detachment 1, 24th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) deployed to Kosovo on July 10, 2005 through Fort Hood, Texas.  In Kosovo, the soldiers were part of NATO peacekeeping efforts and assisted in providing medical support for the 40th Division from California, serving in Kosovo as part of the Multinational Brigade-East.  They also provided support for the 1st Battalion, 635th Armor, also serving in Kosovo during 2005. They returned from their year-long deployment to Kosovo on Jan. 20, 2006.

Embedded Training Teams – Afghanistan

Eighteen soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 35th Division Artillery, were mobilized and sent to Afghanistan in January of 2006.  They were assigned as part of an Embedded Training Team that would assist in training the Afghan Army Brigade.  The deployment was part of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Commanding the team was LTC Michael Slusher, Topeka.  They would remain deployed during 2006.

A second contingent, led by MAJ Lon Williams, went to Afghanistan in February, 2006.  Their mission was to train the Afghan Army in mechanized infantry tactics using armored personnel carriers.

On Sept. 15, 2006, MSG Bernard L. Deghand, a member of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 35th Infantry Division and a part of the Embedded Training Team, died as a result of small arms fire in a combat action with the Afghan Army, which was known as Operation Mountain Fury.

Soldiers of the 35th Infantry Division Embedded Training Team returned from their year’s deployment in Afghanistan on Feb. 25, 2007.  Known as Team Kansas, they had deployed in January of 2006, working with the Afghan Army to support the global war on terrorism.  Members of the team were awarded five Combat Infantryman’s Badges, two Combat Medic Badges, and four Combat Action Badges, as well as five Meritorious Service Medals for their work in Afghanistan.

They were followed by the third Kansas National Guard Embedded Training Team in April.  Named Team Shocker, the group was drawn from several Kansas National Guard units. The sixteen members of this team were assigned to the 218th Brigade, South Dakota National Guard, and assigned to train the Afghan Army forces.  The Kansas soldiers initially reported to Fort Riley, and after 45 days left for Afghanistan for their year-long deployment.

A fourth Embedded Training Team was deployed in 2009, followed by Agricultural Team designed to assist the Afghans with use of productive agricultural methods.

35th Division Artillery

The Metro Section of Headquarters Battery, 35th Division Artillery, was mobilized in late 1996, and arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina on Dec. 11, 1996.  Its mission there was to provide artillery units with the wind conditions, air temperature, density, and humidity so that batteries would know how the winds affected their firing.  The unit returned home on June 29, 1997.

Btry E (Target Acquisition), 161st Field Artillery

Commanded by CPT John Campbell, Battery E (Target Acquisition), 161st Field Artillery, Larned and Great Bend, departed for Ft. Benning in February, 1996, in preparation for this mission to Bosnia as part of Operation Joint Endeavor.  The unit arrived in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina on Feb. 28, 1996.  Here they would use TPQ-36 radars to track mortar shells, artillery rounds, and small arms fire during their peacekeeping mission.  Violations of the peacekeeping agreement between the Bosnians and the Serbs were reported to the Allied Rapid Reaction Command for checking.  The unit was returned to Great Bend in November of 1996 by the 190th Air Refueling Wing.

In early 2000, Battery E again received the call—to Kosovo this time.  The mission would be the same—use the Q-36 and Q-37 Firefinder radars to track incoming mortar, artillery, and small arms fire—in the vicinity of Camp Bondsteel and Camp Montieth in Kosovo.  Arriving on May 21, 2000, the unit began its mission, which also included providing security for medical clinics, patrolling, and interacting with the local populace.  They returned to Kansas in mid-December, 2000, in time for Christmas.

For the third time in less than 10 years, soldiers from Battery E (Target Acquisition), 161st Field Artillery were mobilized on Sept. 20, 2005.  This time, the unit headed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  One group of 13 soldiers was attached to a Texas field artillery unit, while a second group of six soldiers was to join up with another unit.  They returned to their armories at Great Bend and Larned on Dec. 3, 2005.

102d Military History Detachment

The 102d Military History Detachment, Topeka, was sent to Bosnia at the end of 1995 in support of Operation Joint Endeavor, a NATO peacekeeping mission.  Commanded by MAJ Nels Dolan, the unit was assigned to Task Force Eagle in Tuzla, Bosnia, and recorded the actions and conditions of the American soldiers during the cold Bosnian winter.  The unit returned from active duty on Aug. 2, 1996, following eight months in Bosnia.

As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 102d Military History Detachment, commanded by MAJ Dane Childs, was again mobilized in 2003.  On Feb. 9 they processed through their mobilization station and joined the 3rd Infantry Division in their push toward Baghdad.  Their mission was to collect and preserve data of historical interest.  After arrival in Baghdad, the unit utilized one of the palaces that had been the Baathist Party Headquarters at Baghdad International Airport.  They were released from this mission in late 2003.

In June, 2008, the 102d Military History Detachment was again mobilized, this time for duty in Afghanistan where they would document military activities of the 82d Airborne Division.  The departure ceremony was held in June, 2008, at the Museum of the Kansas National Guard, Topeka.  The unit, commanded by MAJ Damon Frizzell, returned to Kansas in July, 2009.