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Marching as one
TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- Air Force service members of the U.S. and Spain proceed to 9/11 and Spanish memorials to place flowers in remembrance of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in support of operation ENDURING FREEDOM on Oct. 13, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Steele C. G. Britton)
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Airmen bid farewell to Spanish forces at Manas

Posted 10/14/2009   Updated 10/25/2009 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Olufemi Owolabi
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

10/14/2009 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan --  -- Airmen of the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing held a ceremony to say goodbye to their Spanish counterparts as the Spanish Detachment vacated the Transit Center Oct. 13. 

During the Ceremony, the Spaniards also used the opportunity to pay their last respects to their fallen comrades and fallen American servicemembers by laying wreaths in their honor at the Memorial in front of the wing's Headquarters building.
The ceremony honored 21 Spanish servicemembers deployed to Manas who died in a plane crash in 2003. 

After the ceremony, which culminated with playing of Taps, the Spanish servicemembers thanked Airmen at the Transit Center for their unwavering support before their final departure. 

"It's been a pleasure and honor to have worked alongside the United States Air Force," said Major Miguel Oliver, Spanish's Mizar Detachment commander. "We could have never completed our mission without the support of Airmen and the United States. We are heading to another place and will be operating from a forward support base. Even though we will have the support of other coalition forces, it will not be the same without the support of the Americans." 

The detachment, after its arrival at Manas in 2002 in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom, redeployed to Kuwait in June 2003. The current Mizar detachment was established here in 2004. 

As part of the International Security Assistance Force since 2004, the Spaniards have contributed to the global war on terror along with Airmen of the 376th AEW. 

"...All I can say to the U.S. Air Force is thank you," said Major Oliver. "There have been a lot of times that we needed Airmen's support, and they have answered all our needs and requests, even far beyond what we've expected. The U.S. Air Force has been an outstanding and tremendous support for us here, and on behalf on my country's detachment, I say thank you very much."

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