New operations detachment boosts JBER’s capabilities

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Derek Seifert
  • JBER Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kelsey Bryant took command of the 55th Operations Group Detachment 1 during an assumption-of-command ceremony at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Jan. 17.

The detachment’s mission at JBER is to respond more quickly to long-standing and ever-increasing combatant command and national intelligence requirements in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Some may ask, ‘Why JBER?’,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Derek Rachel, 55th OG commander, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. “The [detachment] will be able to support our various 55th Wing missions and all of our aircraft types supporting multiple combatant commands simultaneously out of JBER. Soon our aircraft and aircrew will be operating secretary-of-defense-directed missions out of JBER or using it as a stopover point for high-priority missions to other destinations around the world.”

The detachment will be a strategic launch point for aircraft like the RC-135V/W Rivet Joint, and will be able to provide additional support for the intelligence demands of the 135-series aircraft community.

“The geographic and strategic location of this detachment cannot be overstated,” said Rachel. “This detachment will have RC-135V/W Rivet Joint, RC-135S Cobra Ball, RC-135U Combat Sent and WC-135R Constant Phoenix and others to provide world class operations, intelligence, maintenance, logistics and administrative support to the 55th Wing’s reconnaissance operations globally.”

The permanent presence of the detachment aims to enhance response time and the working relationships between the 135 community and its customers, including national intelligence and Department of Defense agencies.

“We need permanent boots on the ground as we are supporting so many different customers and locations,” said Bryant. “It became apparent to us over the last several years that mission growth in Alaska is booming and [RC-135 Rivet Joint operations] need to be here on the ground permanently to support our warfighters. JBER, you have been nothing but helpful in our way ahead and I can’t say enough about the base and the people here. Thank you and I look forward to the next three years working with you.”