12 July 2008

332 AEW Change of Command Ceremony

Balad AB, Iraq - Airmen assigned to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing salute the colors while the Iraqi and U.S. national anthems are played during a change of command ceremony here, July 4. Brig. Gen. Brian Bishop assumed command of the 332 AEW from Maj. Gen. Burt Field while Lt. Gen. Gary North, 9th Air Force and U.S. Air Forces Central commander, presided over the ceremony. Photo: Senior Airman Julianne Showalter

Balad Air Base is the first step of a long journey home for many soldiers injured in Iraq. It is the home of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group who operate the Air Force Theater Hospital and the Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility (CASF). Patients arrive here from Combat Support Hospitals and front-line medical units all over Iraq.

The 332 Air Expeditionary Wing has many other missions: Its F-16 aircraft maintain air supremacy over Iraq, A-10 and F-16 aircraft perform close air support, HH-60 Pave Hawks perform combat search and rescue, the C-130 squadron provides inter- and intra-theater airlift, and MQ-1 Predators provide tactical surveillance and reconnaissance.

On a monthly basis, Balad logistics readiness experts process 750 Cargo Aircraft, 9,500 tons of cargo and 19,000 passengers making it the busiest aerial port operation in the AOR, and second in all of DOD only to Dover Air Force Base. In terms of aircraft movements, Balad is the busiest single runway operation in DOD and second in the world only to London's Heathrow airport.

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