Shaw’s ‘Shooters’ roll into Osan
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Members of the 55th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and the Shooter Aircraft Maintenance Unit recently arrived here as part of the theater support package, a continuous fighter and maintenance unit rotation to Osan and Kunsan Air Bases.
Approximately 350 Airmen assigned to the TSP deployed from the 20th Fighter Wing, which is based at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., to provide additional combat airpower to bolster regional security and enhance the 51st Fighter Wing's resolve to 'fight and win tonight.'
"We're here to demonstrate America's resolve to support our allies and deter our enemies even in these fiscally constrained times, and to complement the already impressive combat capabilities inherent in the 51st Operations Group," said Lt. Col. Christopher Claus, 55th EFS commander.
Being in Korea, Claus said, is not a new thing to many of the TSP members.
"The 55th EFS and EAMU supported a TSP in the ROK in 2012," he said. "A lot of our maintainers and pilots have already served one, if not more, tours in Korea as well. Familiarity with the ROK and its unique operating challenges will help us be successful in supporting the 51st Ops Group throughout the deployment."
The Shooters' presence will benefit not only Osan, but all of the allied forces in the region.
"Air superiority is a precondition for successful military operations, and the unique capabilities of the 55th EFS complements the rest of the 51st Operations Group to achieve this objective," Claus said. "The 55th EFS is a Wild Weasel squadron, so we train specifically to the mission of attacking enemy surface-to air-missiles and aircraft in order to decrease the threat they pose to allied forces. At home we train to gain air superiority in support of operations in different theaters. Here, we'll be able to focus our training on the threats and objectives specific to the region."
With the TSP integrating into the base's daily operations, the Shooters stand ready to help all of Team Osan defend, execute and receive, should the need arise.
"The key thing is that what we're doing here is no different than what Osan was already doing, and what we do back home," said Chief Master Sgt. John Rdesinski, Shooter AMU superintendent. "We have our full complement of personnel here that's ready to do whatever needs to be done."