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.