Kadena’s Air Commandos, aircraft return from historic deployment

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Aaron Cram
  • 353rd Special Operations Group
An MC-130P Combat Shadow and 17 members of the 353rd Special Operations Group were greeted by friends and family as they returned here late April 25 after supporting combat operations in Afghanistan.

In total, 21 members of 353rd Maintenance Squadron and 17th Special Operations Squadron and an MC-130P aircraft were deployed about four months. The deployment marked the first time in unit history an aircraft from the 353rd SOG supported combat operations outside the Pacific theater.

"It's great to have these Airmen and our aircraft home after their tremendous efforts downrange," said Col. Robert Toth, the 353rd SOG commander. "Every day our Air Commandos of the Pacific skillfully support PACOM's theater security cooperation and engagement plans, but supporting ongoing combat operations is always our first priority. Having the confidence and support of our leadership at Special Operations Command Pacific and Air Force Special Operations Command to allow us to support this deployment speaks volumes of the men and women of this unit."

Although, it's the first time an aircraft for the 353rd SOG deployed outside the Pacific theater, personnel from the group consistently support combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Philippines and other operations in multiple locations.