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Washington Guardsman flies 100th combat sortie over Afghanistan
TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan - Capt. Tyson Frost, 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, deployed from the 141st Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash, prepares for his his 100th combat sortie Sept. 18. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Michael Schocker)
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Career Guard/Reserve Airman flies 100th combat sortie

Posted 9/28/2010   Updated 9/28/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Buzanowski
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs


9/28/2010 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- After doing push ups with two maintainers outside of the KC-135, the pilot made personal history Sept. 18 when he flew the 100th combat sortie of his career. During the 6.3-hour sortie, Capt. Tyson Frost's crew refueled Navy F/A-18C Hornets, F/A-18F Super Hornets and an EA-6B Prowler and also filled two Royal Air Force GR-4 Tornados multiple times.

"Captain Frost's accomplishment is a testament to the Total Force concept and an amazing feat for a Citizen Airman," said Lt. Col. Henry Hamby, commander of the 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron here.

From radio chatter the traditional Guardsman, deployed to the 22nd EARS, knew that the fighter aircraft were all involved with troops engaged in enemy contact. "There were lots of on-the-fly changes to our refueling situations and we coordinating multiple radio calls to different aircraft all day long," said the father of two who is assigned to the Air National Guard's 141st Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.

Colonel Hamby is no stranger to Fairchild AFB. At home station he is the 92nd Air Refueling Squadron commander there - and he witnesses first-hand the how the 141st ARW and the active duty's 92nd ARW work together to get the Air Force's mission done. "Every day Captain Frost or another Guardsman volunteers is one less day the heavily-tasked active duty aircrews and support forces spend deployed," said Colonel Hamby.

Captain Frost said the busy mission made the 100th combat sortie memorable. "We felt like we played a vital role in keeping our troops on the ground safer by delivering the fuel to keep the fighter protection over them. We hope we played a part in protecting those guys as we gave multiple receivers fuel when they needed it most."

The Captain and his crew - co-pilot Capt. Timothy Ridnour and boom operator Tech. Sgt. Marty Martin - goes home, or redeploys, back to Fairchild AFB next month.

"Tim, Marty and I enjoy deploying and the training is very rewarding to us. Hats off to our maintenance today as we had no maintenance discrepancies and the jet performed as advertised. That sure makes our job easier," said Capt. Frost who started his Air Force career as a college student.

He spent nine years as an enlisted egress technician for F-16 ejection seats and canopy systems for the Montana Air National Guard in Great Falls. "That's when I fell in love with aircraft and I wanted to fly. I'm so lucky I get paid for doing what I love," said the Captain who received his commission through Air Force Reserve Command with the 939th Air Refueling Wing, Portland International Airport, Ore., as a KC-135 pilot. He left the Air Force Reserve after four years to join the 141st ARW in 1996.

Captain Frost says he jumps at the opportunity to volunteer for flying hours at home station and deployed. "We enjoy helping out our active duty counterparts, but we still maintain huge pride in being members of the Washington Air National Guard and representing the city of Spokane and the State of Washington. Go Guard!"



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