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April Retiree's Corner

  • Published
  • By Robert (Bob) W. Barkalow, Jr.
  • Master Sgt. (retired)

We had about 50 folks to show for our March Luncheon. We had Lt. Col. Wade Rivers come by and talk to us primarily about the May Air Expo coming up. He was whetting our appetite to attend this event. As always a great group of people showed up for this Luncheon. We were in the Excalibur Room, which is my favorite place in the NCO Club. It is nicely decorated. There is a lot of light in that room, and just a wonderful setting for our Luncheon. 


McEntire History:  We are coming close to the end of the Korean War Call-Up folks, perhaps three more months of honoring our predecessors. This month we have some folks who were assigned to Detachment B, 216th Air Services Group. They are as follows: Private First Class (PFC) Ansel Kelly, John W. Kelly, Chesley W. Lovell, Marshall E. McCain, Carl M. Miller, William A. Moye, Everett M. Oswald, Frank K. Prewitt, William N. Reese, William C. Scott, John C. Shealey, Gene C. Tinman, Jack Tinman, Carlyle Tyler, Wallace E. Walker, Robert B. White, and Charles T. Young.  There were three Tinman Brothers on this Call-Up, and I believe Charles T. Young was Buddy Young’s dad.


April Deployments:  In April 2001, the 169th sent about 225 folks to Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia, the old Al Kharj, for OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH; still messing around with Saddam Hussein 10 years after DESERT STORM. The 169th FW flew 160 sorties with not one sortie lost due to maintenance cancellation under the severe desert/hot conditions. One nice thing about this deployment there were no tents. I know the Desert Storm folks were disappointed? 120 day deployment. 


April 2012, this was an OEF (OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM), another 120 day deployment with 18 F-16’s and around 400 folks. Quite a large deployment, some were going for two months, while some stayed the whole 120 days. The unit provided 2,194 combat sorties, flying a total of 9192.8 combat hours, which means to me that every pilot averaged about 4.2 hours each sortie. The jets and pilots also provided 246 show of force, dropping 207 bombs, and expended 7,303 20mm rounds. Pretty good record keeping. 


As always, every April, I must mention the 240th, my old unit. It was formed up April 18, 1952, and alas, it had to stand down effective March 31, 2008, almost 56 years of operating. It saw a lot and did a lot during its years of operation. Speaking of the 240th, in 1977 for summer camps, the 240th ATCF went back to their favorite haunt, Phelps-Collins CBTC in Alpena, MI. While the 240th CCF convoyed to Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina.


Our next Luncheon will be April 4th at the Fort Jackson NCO Club, we always begin around noon time, come one, come all.