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Tech. Sgt. Justin Wiebbecke deployed to Afghanistan

April 17, 2012
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - A native of Clutier was recently deployed to KandaharAirfield, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Tech. Sgt. Justin Wiebbecke, an F-16C Fighting Falcon mechanic with the 451st Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron deployed from the Iowa Air National Guard, is impacting the battlefield in a big way -- keeping planes in the sky so bombs can drop on target.

"There have been times when a jet has come through here, we've pushed it out and later that day, it was dropping bombs on the enemy," said Wiebbecke, a 1997 graduate of North Tama High School. "We take our job here very seriously."

Article Photos

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Justin Wiebbecke from Clutier, Iowa, is a mechanic with the 451st Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron.The mission of the 451st EMXS is to provide their aircraft with efficient maintenance support in order to deliver decisive airpower for Operation Enduring Freedom.
Photo/ Staff Sgt.
Greg Biondo

Throughout his deployment here, Wiebbecke has enjoyed his job.

"Being in a new country is a good experience," said Wiebbecke, who's been in the Air Force for 15 years. "The pace here is fast. We're always busy. Everything is go, go, go, but I prefer it that way."

Keeping aircraft in the air allows the squadron to carry out its mission of delivering decisive airpower to the southern region of Afghanistan.

"Our jets are more than 20 years old, and require routine maintenance," said Lt. Col. Travis Acheson, 451stExpeditionary Fighter Squadron commander. "We couldn't do what we do, without having the high-speed maintainers we have here."



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