Wyoming Senator visits guardsmen
By Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr., 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 25, 2017
SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Sen. John Barrasso shared a Thanksgiving meal with deployed Wyoming Air National Guardsmen, assigned to the 737th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron in Southwest Asia Nov. 23. The Wyoming senator, who is also a member of the senate committee on foreign relations, was traveling to engage in discussions with government officials and military commanders regarding political, economic, and military security issues impacting the region. Additionally, he observed the mission of the Wyoming ANG and other forward deployed forces first-hand.
“The visit with Senator Barrasso was very productive [in regard] to updating him on the impact we are having on the mission of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing,” said Lt. Col. Todd Davis, 737th EAS director of operations. “More importantly, he was provided information on how our deployed members from the Wyoming ANG have been supporting the 386th Expeditionary Operations Group and 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Group since we arrived to our deployed location.”
Barrasso has a long and distinguished career in both medicine and public service. He has served in the U.S. Senate since 2007 and serves on committees that directly impact Wyoming’s economy, energy interests, public lands, national parks and trade.
During his visit, Barrasso coined all the Wyoming deployed personnel, observed a Wyoming flight crew intelligence briefing, and witnessed C-130H pre-flight preparations just before a crew departed for a mission.
“We had a great Thanksgiving this year while deployed,” Davis said. “The support from our home state as well as the traditional meal provided by the dining facility made our time away from home memorable, all while still supporting the Combatant Command with intra-theater airlift requirements.”
According to Davis, many Airmen have deployed during past holidays but for some this was their first deployment away from home.
“It says a lot about the senator to come and visit with us for Thanksgiving,” said Master Sgt. Michael Konegni, 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron combat metals flight chief and Wyoming Guardsmen. “For him to take time away from his own family to visit us is very humbling. It meant a lot to have a little piece of Wyoming here with us.”
This is Konegni’s seventh deployment and second during the holidays.
“I'm just thankful that my wife and kids back home are all doing well and I got to talk with all of them on the phone," Konegni said.