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55th Operations Group establishes new detachment in Alaska

  • Published
  • By 55th Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- In an effort to respond more quickly to long standing and ever-increasing combatant command and national intelligence requirements in the Indo-Pacific region, the 55th Operations Group Detachment 1 was recently established at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

The new detachment will initially serve as a strategic launch and recovery point for RC-135V/W Rivet Joint operations and exercises in the region.

“The new det will provide us more flexibility and allow us to expand our operations in response to increased intelligence requirements,” said Col. Derek Rachel, 55th OG commander. “We’re very excited to see this initiative come to fruition.”

In addition to RJ operations, the det will also be available for the 55th Wing’s other 135 assets to include the RC-135S Cobra Ball, RC-135U Combat Sent and WC-135R Constant Phoenix.

“All of our platforms are constantly tasked for worldwide operations. Having this location always available and ready will enable us to respond quicker than ever before,” Rachel said.

Although the new detachment will be relatively small with less than 10 active-duty personnel and a few contractors, it will remain in a ready status and able to serve emerging requirements on short notice.

“The detachment’s permanent presence will enhance the working relationship between JBER and the OG at Offutt,” said Maj. Kevin LaCosse, detachment commander. “Our mission is to ensure the entire 135 enterprise always has the support they need here to better support our nation’s critical intelligence missions.”

The 135 community has a long operational history in Alaska. For many years, missions were flown from Eielson Air Force Base and Shemya Air Force Base during the Cold War along with multiple temporary deployments to the Last Frontier.

“We’re very thankful for the support we’ve received from the entire JBER team as well as the 673d Air Base Wing specifically,” Rachel said. “They opened a lot of doors for us, and we simply wouldn’t be able to make this happen without them.”