The Red Falcons land home
By Senior Airman Nilsa Garcia, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 05, 2021
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --
Members of the 350th Air Refueling Squadron were welcomed home by the open arms of family, friends and colleagues after a 4-month deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, where they supported Operation Freedom Sentinel and Inherent Resolve.
One of the biggest accomplishments of the 350th ARS’s Red Falcons came when the team stood up temporary operations in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as part of a U.S. Air Forces Central Agile Combat Employment capstone event, marking the first tanker deployment to the location in 30 years.
“The team executed the mission flawlessly,” said Lt. Col Jacob Parker, 350th ARS commander. “They did incredibly well through adversity.”
While deployed to Al Udeid, the team flew more than 800 missions with the KC-135 Stratotanker to support joint and coalition aircraft throughout the CENTCOM area of responsibility.
While Parker is proud of the unit’s cohesion as a team and dedication to refueling the fight, after a demanding yet successful deployment he was happy to see the Red Falcons return to Team McConnell.
“I’m happy to see the 350th return home safely,” said Parker. “It’s great to be back home with family and friends for some much needed downtime.”
The same can be said for the families that had counted down the days until their loved ones return.
“I’m super excited to have him back home,” said Marie Newmann, wife of Captain Newmann, 350th ARS pilot. “It’s been a long time coming. I know some of these deployments are not as long as others but it doesn’t matter when you’re married to your best friend. Any time apart is hard.”