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Largest deployment in nine years

Reservists to be sent worldwide in 2019

Over 300 reservists assigned to the 446th Airlift Wing will deploy in 2019. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Ever since its establishment as the 446th Troop Carrier Wing in April, 1955, the current 446th Airlift Wing (Reserve) at McChord Field has distinguished itself in its service to the country.

At specific times to be determined in 2019, nearly 300 members of the wing will deploy in what is the largest mobilization since 2009.

"Members will be deployed worldwide, including Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe," wrote Maj. Brooke Davis, public affairs chief, 446th AW, in an email.

The mobilization and deployment add another chapter to the 446th's storied past.

Redesignated and activated in the Reserves and co-located with the 62nd Airlift Wing in 1973, the 446th Military Airlift Wing took part in the evacuation of Saigon in 1975 and the evacuation of American dependents from Tehran, Iran, in 1979, to name a few.

In 1983 and in support of combat operations in Grenada, the 446th flew the 82nd Airborne Division back to Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

In 1986, a 446th crew became the first to fly to Hanoi to retrieve the remains of the first four missing American servicemembers turned over to the United States, and in 1987 the wing's medical personnel evacuated burn victims from a San Juan, Puerto Rico, hotel fire.

This writer took part in both missions.

Aircrews from the 446th participated in Operation Just Cause in Panama, in 1990 hundreds of reservists were activated for Operation Desert Shield.

A year later, almost 1,000 of the 446th's reservists were activated in support of Operation Desert Storm, and hundreds more were activated for duty at McChord.

In 1992, the wing mobilized to provide humanitarian support missions to the former Soviet Union and to victims of Hurricane Andrew.

That same year, the wing redesignated as the 446th Airlift Wing.

From 1993 until the present, the wing has sent reservists to Croatia, Kathmandu, Haiti, Honduras, Rwanda, Cuba, Panama, China, Germany, and Antarctica.

Since the attack on 9/11, the 446th has mobilized hundreds of reservists in support of the war on terror.

The upcoming mobilizations and deployment in 2019 will only add to the history of the 446th Airlift Wing.

"Units deploying will include all groups, including maintenance, operations and mission support as well as wing staff agency members," concluded Davis.

"We are ready and proud to serve."

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