Hill return

Airmen assigned to the 729th Air Control Squadron return home after a 7-month Middle East deployment at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, April 29, 2019. 

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — More than 120 airmen from Hill Air Force Base returned Monday from a seven-month deployment in the Middle East.

The group of airmen, which are part of Hill's 729th Air Control Squadron supported several operations that contributed to the defeat of the ISIS caliphate in Syria, according to a Hill press release.

During the deployment, the group provided aircraft control and an "air surveillance picture across 1.1 million square miles of U.S. Air Force Central Command airspace," according to the release.

Maintenance personnel from several career specialties like radar, radio, cyber transport, HVAC, power production and vehicles also worked to keep the squadron’s equipment running and fully mission capable.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Digsby, 729th ACS commander, said the group's mission is to deploy on short notice to anywhere in the world, providing combatant commanders with 24/7 battle management command and control of joint air operations. Digsby said he was proud of the men and women in the group and was glad to have them back in the United States.

In mid-April, a group of Hill F-35s deployed to the Middle East for the first time.

As part of that mission, airmen from the 388th and 419th fighter wings set off for Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, to support the United States Air Force Central Command mission in the Middle East.

The group included pilots from the active duty 4th Fighter Squadron and Reserve 466th Fighter Squadron, as well as active duty and reserve airmen in the 4th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, as well as personnel in other support functions.

Citing operational security, the Air Force did not release details about how the aircraft will be employed, how long the deployment will last or how many jets and personnel are involved.

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.

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