Gamblers redeploy home to Shaw
By Senior Airman Jacob Gutierrez, 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 23, 2021
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --
Airmen assigned to the 77th Fighter Squadron and the 77th Fighter Generation Squadron, also known as the “Gamblers”, as well as other Team Shaw units, redeployed from U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility late April.
Together, the team executed 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central)’s air tasking order, operationalized agile concepts and fostered resolute partnerships, all while testing out the combat oriented maintenance structure construct in a deployed environment for the first time.
“Our Gamblers played a critical role in executing a mission of national, regional and global importance, and the skills they sharpened overseas will only help us continue to generate combat-ready teams,” said Col. Lawrence T. Sullivan, 20th Fighter Wing commander. “I am thankful to the Gamblers and their families for their perseverance, resilience and wingmanship during this challenging year. They came together and supported one another as a team, while also focusing on strengthening and reinforcing our capabilities in line with the National Defense Strategy.”
They played a key role in the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing’s mission of sustaining and defending joint and partner forces by projecting combat airpower by generating 1800 sorties and 9700 combat hours. The Gamblers supported critical theater plans such as bomber task force missions, maritime surface warfare combined joint air operations, and a bi-lateral Defensive Counter Air and Integrated Defense exercise.
“From day one, our warfighters, alongside our joint brethren and host nation, cultivated a culture of mutual respect and lethal flexibility to secure and stabilize the AOR. I couldn’t be prouder to serve alongside them and learn from their ingenuity,” said Lt. Col. David Bennett, 77th Fighter Squadron commander. “The operations we supported directly influenced our team’s ability to project air superiority.”
To prevail tomorrow, the Gamblers developed rapid and multi-capable training initiatives that postured Airmen to become more agile in executing their missions. While the team was downrange, their agile combat exercise training stateside bolstered their abilities to achieve the mission faster and more efficiently no matter where they were located.
On top of maintaining a combat-ready fleet of F-16 Vipers, we also led the way in expanding agile operations across the region,” said Maj. Claire Vazquez, 77th Fighter Generation Squadron commander. “Everything that we emphasized at home such as hot pit refueling, integrated combat turnarounds, and training a cadre of multi-capable Airmen on cross-AFSC tasks to reduce our logistical requirements are propelling us to the next level of warfighting.
While the Gamblers may have redeployed home, the mission endures, and the 20th Fighter Wing continues to maintain readiness to ensure the fight of tomorrow is being won today.