APS deploys overseas again

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey S. Williams
  • 934 AW Public Affairs
Twenty-four members of the 27th Aerial Port Squadron deployed to Southwest Asia last month for yet another mission in the squadron’s storied history since Sept. 11, 2001.
Set to last for a total of a year, the voluntary deployment by unit members involves three rotations of similar size and duration to a location in the Central Command area-of-responsibility, where the members will be working passenger and cargo transportation issues.

This will be the first deployment for many of the younger members, including Senior Airman Robert McDonough, air terminal operations specialist, who has been in the Air Force for nearly four years.
“Other people have volunteered and gone on AEF rotations,” Airman McDonough said. “I figured it’s time to jump in and do it, so I can gain the experience to bring back to the unit.”

He is looking forward to the challenges of his first deployment, along with gaining the hands-on experience and teamwork building that comes from working in a deployed environment.
Despite the positive outlook Airman McDonough has, he still has a bit of anxiety and apprehension, especially with leaving a wife and two young children behind.
“My wife is pretty positive, but it will be a challenge,” he said. “I’m just ready to get it done so I can get back to my family.”
Still, he feels, the mission has benefits.

“The anxiety and apprehension is there, but it’s part of being there. It will be nice to see what we have in front of us. You won’t really learn the real world mission unless you’re touching it,” he said. 

Not only does this give younger airmen a chance to prove their meddle, Airman McDonough believes this gives some of the seasoned members a deserved break.
“Others have done their AEF tours,” he said. “If someone doesn’t volunteer they’ll be tasked again. We need to share the load.”