MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, WA — Master Sgt. Max Sorenson will be one of nearly 200 McChord Air Force Reserve Airmen who will deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom this month ‚Äì the largest single deployment of Reservists from McChord AFB since Operation Desert Shield.
Reservists will be deployed to various locations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Germany.
“I’m married with a boy and a girl at home, so leaving the family is tough,” said Sergeant Sorenson, operations NCOIC in the 86th Aerial Port Squadron. “(But) I am looking forward to it, especially since I will be going with other members of the 86th. I’m real comfortable with the group we’ve got going.”
The bulk of the deploying Airmen come from the 446th Airlift Wing’s two aerial port squadrons ‚Äì the 36th and 86th Aerial Port Squadrons — which are responsible for loading and unloading cargo and passengers on military aircraft. This is the first time both squadrons will deploy together in a war zone.
“Over the past two months, both squadrons have been training together, said Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Dietz, senior Air Force Reserve Technician for the 86th APS. “Senior officer and enlisted leaders (from both squadrons) have been teaming together to make one cohesive group.”
In addition to the aerial port squadrons, Reservists from the aeromedical evacuation, services and aeromedical staging squadrons will also deploy to support the OIF mission. Both squadrons have been heavily involved in contingency medical support since the War on Terror began.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 1,900 Airmen from the 446th Airlift Wing have deployed in support of OIF/OEF missions. The average deployment lasts four months.