140th Wing Air Expeditionary Force Returns to Colorado from Deployment

A U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard embraces a loved one after returning from a deployment April, 13, 2022, at Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora, Colorado. Airmen from the 140th Wing were deployed in support of U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Mira Roman.)

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Family, friends, and colleagues welcomed home deployed members of the Colorado Air National Guard’s 140th Wing Air Expeditionary Force at Buckley Space Force Base, Aurora, on April 13.

The group of about 300 Airmen deployed in January 2022 in support of operations Inherent Resolve, Enduring Sentinel, and Spartan Shield.

“The safety, support, and well-being of our deployed service members and their families is always my top priority, and I’d like to personally thank our civilian employers and educators who continually support our Airmen as they deploy around the world,” 140th Wing Commander U.S. Air Force Col. Christopher J. Southard said. “The Air National Guard could not exist without the outstanding community support we continuously receive here in Colorado.”

The 120th Fighter Squadron was part of the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing at Prince Sultan Air Base, Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia. The mission of the 378th AEW is to sustain and defend joint forces at PSAB while projecting combat airpower in support of theater plans and operations. Detachment Commander U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Benjamin Couchman led the group.

“Couchman was ultimately responsible for overall command of our AEF deployment success,” 233rd Security Forces Squadron First Sergeant U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Joshua Johnson said.

According to Couchman, the 140th deterred aggression in the area of responsibility and conducted defensive counter-air combat air patrols defending coalition and U.S. forces.

“Our Airmen are impressive warfighters and Air Force professionals who showcased the 140th Wing’s ACE (Agile Combat Employment) abilities by forward deploying to two austere locations and successfully launching sorties while maintaining all Air Tasking Order combat missions,” Couchman said. “We successfully completed multiple air-to-ground strikes in defense of U.S. and partner nation forces.”